Natural selection and sexual selection for thermoregulation

Variety is the spice of life, but diversity is controlled by natural selection and sexual selection for thermoregulation

Article Excerpt: “As systems-level research, which integrates multiple types and levels of biological information, becomes more necessary to understand complex diseases, there is an urgent need to find principles that extend across all models…”

East Asian Physical Traits Linked to 35,000-Year-Old Mutation

Article Excerpt: “Dr. Sabeti said the extra sweat glands could have been the feature favored by natural selection, with all the other effects being dragged along in its train.”

My comment: Reproduction is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in species from microbes to man. That suggests the molecular mechanisms are the same. Thus, after a thorough review of the extant literature, we can readily conclude that “Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans (Kohl, 2012).”

That fact is demonstrable. Substitution of alanine for valine in a human population results in alterations of skin, sweat, and hair (Grossman et al., 2013). The hypothesis supported is that the enhanced thermoregulation required for evolution at the molecular level fuels adaptive mitochodrial-nuclear interactions (Brunstein, 2013; Meiklejohn et al., 2013). This includes the mitochodrial-nuclear interactions of the microbiome (McFall-Ngai et al., 2013). The intranuclear interactions are manifested in phenotypical changes that enable sexual selection for nutrient-dependent reproductive fitness.

Adaptively evolved reproductive fitness is signaled by pheromones via the alterations in skin, eccrine sweat, apocrine secretions[1], and hair in mammals. The microbiome is largely responsible for digestion and for conversion of nutrient metabolites to pheromones.  The problem for some people is the complexity of the systems biology. There is a requirement to get from nutrient fueled energy driven protein synthesis in cells to ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction (Kohl, 2013). That requirement exists to link the sensory environment to protein synthesis via changes in gene expression. The changes in gene expression lead to changes in behavior. The changes in behavior must lead back to changes in gene expression via reproduction for adaptive evolution to occur.

If not for animal models of that complexity, all hope for understanding would be lost. The honeybee model organism incorporates what is known about nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled social behavior. The mouse model extends what is known to sexual selection in mammals.  The physics of thermoregulated DNA strand pairing extends common molecular mechanisms from microbes to man (Brunstein, 2013).

Extending the concept of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction from microbes to humans may not be possible in the current climate of animal model specializations and what are believed to be mutations that somehow cause adaptive evolution. In Drosophila, for example, an experimentally induced valine-alanine point “mutation” reduces fecundity as is consistent with starvation. But “fixation” of the mutation is used to explain adaptive evolution (Meiklejohn et al., 2013). Drosophila is a commonly used animal model of diversity. Note the sharp contrast of  “mutations” theory  compared to nutrient-dependent thermoregulatory mechanisms that clearly are pheromone-controlled in microbes (McFall-Ngai et al., 2013).

In my opinion, adaptive mutations theory should not be used as a substitute for explanations of the epigenetic effects of nutrients and pheromones on thermoregulated epigenesis, epistasis, and adaptive evolution. Instead, differences in perspectives on the valine / alanine variants (Kamberov et al., 2013; Meiklejohn et al., 2013) should be compared to determine if or how “adaptive mutations” enable nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled species diversity. What if all adaptations are nutrient-driven and pheromone-controlled as is consistent with a model of adaptive evolution (Kohl, 2013)?

Let’s first get the physics and the biology correct, before we mathematically model what may be impossible. Is it possible that mutations are adaptive at the level of population genetics? If there is a model for that, the first priority is to get the model right.


Brunstein, J. (2013). DNA and RNA structure: nucleic acids as genetic material. Medical Laboratory Observer, January 26(22). Jan 2013

Grossman, Sharon R., Andersen, Kristian G., Shlyakhter, I., Tabrizi, S., Winnicki, S., Yen, A., et al. (2013). Identifying Recent Adaptations in Large-Scale Genomic Data. Cell, 152(4), 703-713. (see link to video on adaptive mutations that result in more sweat glands)

Kamberov, Yana G., Wang, S., Tan, J., Gerbault, P., Wark, A., Tan, L., et al. (2013). Modeling Recent Human Evolution in Mice by Expression of a Selected EDAR Variant. Cell, 152(4), 691-702.

Kohl, J. V. (2012). Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2(17338).

Kohl, J. V. (2013). Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled Adaptive Evolution. figshare, Retrieved 04:36, Feb 18, 2013 (GMT)

McFall-Ngai, M., Hadfield, M. G., Bosch, T. C. G., Carey, H. V., Domazet-Loso, T., Douglas, A. E., et al. (2013). Animals in a bacterial world, a new imperative for the life sciences. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.

Meiklejohn, C. D., Holmbeck, M. A., Siddiq, M. A., Abt, D. N., Rand, D. M., & Montooth, K. L. (2013). An Incompatibility between a Mitochondrial tRNA and Its Nuclear-Encoded tRNA Synthetase Compromises Development and Fitness in Drosophila. PLoS Genet, 9(1), e1003238.

About James V. Kohl 1308 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society