News article excerpt: “We have used a relatively new method known as ancient starch analysis to analyse ancient human diet. This technique can tell us things about human diet in the past that no other method can.
Article excerpt:The initial cultural migration from southern China is thought to have occurred sometime around or prior to 5,000 years ago. The dominant starches… suggest that the sago palms were an important plant food prior to the rice in south subtropical China. This… provides the first evidence for the exploitation of resources in a coastal village community in southern subtropical China around 5,000 years ago, and may represent a common strategy that prevailed in Southeast Asia before rice farming was practised widely (Yang et al., 2013).
See also: Analysis of 6,515 exomes reveals the recent origin of most human protein-coding variants (e.g, during the past 5-10,000 years of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution).
My comment: Ancient starch analysis is a technique that tells us it is time to replace misrepresentations about the role of mutations in adaptive evolution with biological facts, which are exemplified in model organisms from microbes to man. The technique challenges the misrepresentations of adaptive evolution commonly accepted by evolutionary theorists and incorporated into their “Just-So” stories. Thus, it may be important to put the latest information on what might at first appear to be cultural evolution (e.g., as in agriculture) into its proper perspective of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution. Fortunately, there is a model for that. The mammalian model can be used to specifically address the influence of starch in the diet and its metabolism to pheromones that control social behavior and reproduction.
Differences in their diet and in their metabolism of starch (Axelsson et al., 2013) contribute to differences in the socialization dogs and wolves. The differences in socialization of these subspecies can be attributed to explorations involving only olfactory/pheromonal input in 2 week-old wolf pups. For comparison, by the time dog exploration begins approximately 2 weeks later, visual and tactile input have added details of the sensory environment. A dog’s perspective develops in the context of multisensory input (Lord, 2013). A developmental delay of approximately 2 weeks allows multisensory input and additional details in dogs to complement what is learned by wolves from only olfactory/pheromonal input.
The developmental differences exemplify the epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal input on nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled brain development and socialization during a critical period of interaction with the environment. The differences in behavior extend across a life-time of more aggressive behavior in wolves. It seems likely that wolves have not been domesticated because the impact of their diet (i.e., less digested starch) genetically predisposes wolf pups to begin exploration of their postnatal environment using only their sense of smell. The wolf pups are then somewhat ‘shocked’ when associations with other sensory input begin to alter their behavior. They may be less trusting of other large mammals that also smell like a nutrient source. The handling by humans of cute little puppy-dogs that occurs in the context of multisensory input might make a huge difference in their adult behavior and their trust and ‘love’ of some people, but not all people. Learned behaviors are genetically predisposed and experience-dependent. Some dogs may not be as trusting as others, and the experience of some dogs with some people may make a dog’s behavior more wolf-like.
If only the species-specific differences in the development of behavior between wolves and dogs were considered, it would be clear that there are differences in the nutrient-dependent production of species-specific mammalian pheromones, and that these differences are important to the development of behavior in sub-species. Does that fact help to explain the importance of discussing nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution in the context of olfactory/pheromonal control of adaptively evolved hormone-organized and hormone-activated socioaffective neuroscience and psychology (Kohl, 2012)?
Indeed, mammalian pheromones are included in discussions that are essential to understanding the role of molecular epigenetics and the ecological epigenetics of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction in species from microbes to man. Furthermore, the concept of nutrient–dependent pheromone–controlled reproduction is important to neuroscientific progress. For example, it is essential to better understanding of evolutionary endocrinology (Zafon, 2012) and its role in evolutionary medicine (Stearns, 2012).
The opportunity has again arisen to discuss mutations theory in the context of cultural evolution, agriculture, and nutrient-dependent adaptive evolution in a population in China. Everyone is welcome to start the discussion of how mutations led to agriculture, culture, or anything else involved in the adaptive evolution of the human brain and behavior, which is obviously nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled.
Who will now begin to tell us how mutations are involved and how their effects on adaptive evolution are controlled?
Axelsson, E., Ratnakumar, A., Arendt, M.-L., Maqbool, K., Webster, M. T., Perloski, M., et al. (2013). The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet. Nature, 495, 360–364.
Kohl, J. V. (2012). Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2(17338).
Lord, K. (2013). A Comparison of the Sensory Development of Wolves (Canis lupus lupus) and Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Ethology, 119(2), 110-120.
Stearns, S. C. (2012). Evolutionary medicine: its scope, interest and potential. Proc Biol Sci 279(1746), 4305-4321.
Yang, X., Barton, H. J., Wan, Z., Li, Q., Ma, Z., Li, M., et al. (2013). Sago-Type Palms Were an Important Plant Food Prior to Rice in Southern Subtropical China. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e63148.
Zafon, C. (2012). Evolutionary endocrinology: A pending matter. Endocrinologia y Nutricion (English Edition), 59(1), 62-68.
read more May 18, 2013
Decoding Bacterial Methylomes
A new technique could soon spur unprecedented insight into the role of bacterial epigenetics in the evolution of pathogen virulence.
Excerpt: This methylation-laying enzyme resulted in a complete epigenetic makeover, the team learned. The group is still working on characterizing the effects of these epigenetic modifications, but Schadt said that the various pathways that were upregulated and downregulated in the bacterium, including changes in swarming and growth patterns, could have contributed to making it more virulent.
My comment: The effect of the methylation-laying enzyme invites comparison with genes of large effect influence nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution in species from microbes to man.
My comment to the Scientist site: Is methylation nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in microbes? If so, this article suggests to me that antibiotic resistence is altered by nutrient-dependent thermodynamically controlled changes in the microRNA/messenger RNA balance. Nutrient-dependent changes in the balance could cause differences in intracellular signaling, internuclear interactions, chromatin remodeling, stochastic gene expression, and changes in seemingly futile cycles of nutrient-dependent de novo protein biosynthesis and degradation.
Successful metabolism of nutrients and protein biosynthesis results in protein degradation to species-specific pheromones that control reproduction by enabling quorum sensing (i.e., the pheromones epigenetically effect organism-level and colony-wide thermoregulation). The ability of one microbial ‘species’ to incorporate nutrient availability and to also withstand nutrient-dependent thermodynamically-controlled increased ‘heat’ is then associated with the species-wide ability to communicate successful competition for nutrients via pheromone production that controls colony growth (and antibiotic resistence in Escherichia coli, for example).
If anyone understands how what I just suggested may explain nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution via ecological and social niche construction in microbes, comments are welcome. I do not have the interdisciplinary expertise to move forward with anything more than just a model of cause and effect, and have received no feedback on any aspect of the model or its extension across species from microbes to man in Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled thermodynamics and thermoregulation.
Perhaps I’ve missed something that is obvious to others.
Excerpt: “The teeth begin growing before birth…
If early weaning was typical of Neandertals, Humphrey says, it would be consistent with other evidence for a “faster pace of development” and raise the possibility that Neandertal mothers had shorter intervals between births and thus more kids on their hands at any given time.”
Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution of teeth and nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled neurogenic niche construction are exemplified in nematodes.
In my model of adaptive evolution, change in a single base pair results in an amino acid substitution manifested in increased apocrine glands (e.g., in mammary tissue), increased eccrine glands (e.g., important for thermoregulation), thinker hair (e.g., a likely trait for sexual selection), and changes in teeth in a human population that arose in central China during the past ~30,000 years. Because the molecular mechanisms of adaptive evolution are the same across species, change in a single base pair could result in differences in Neandertal / modern human weaning associated with the mother-infant bond and nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution of the mammalian brain and behavior. Ultimately, change in a single base pair could result in enhanced neurogenic niche construction and socio-cognitive niche construction.
Presumably, this result would exemplify less stressful nutrient-dependent ecological niche construction and less stressful pheromone-controlled social niche construction. If so, my model, which is exemplified in the honeybee model organism of socio-cognitive niche construction and embodied cognition, links the epigenetic effects of nutrients and their metabolism to species-specific pheromones to the adaptive evolution of species from microbes to man.
If not, “…it should be mentioned that another possibility is that of mutation accumulation in the strains [of nematodes] used in the different studies.” (p. 168). However, it should also be mentioned that the molecular mechanisms of adaptive evolution are unlikely to vary across species, which means adaptive evolution is probably nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in all species. If mutations are involved in adaptive evolution there may be a model organism other than those that are known to exemplify how mutation accumulation enables selection and epistasis.
read more May 22, 2013
May 15th, 2013 in Biology / Cell & Microbiology
Excerpt: “Understanding the concept of morphogen gradients—the mechanism by which a signal from one part of a developing embryo can influence the location and other variables of surrounding cells—is important to developmental biology, gene regulation, evolution, and human health.”
My comment: I am reminded by the content of this articlethat I have not yet published a preprint about nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled morphogenesis in species from microbes to man. As most of you know, however, nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled morphogenesis is included in my model of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution.
Although I find no fault with the portrayal of morphogenesis in the fruit fly model, I will note that nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled morphogenesis is probably best exemplified at the advent of sexual reproduction in yeast. See: Pheromone-Induced Morphogenesis Improves Osmoadaptation Capacity by Activating the HOG MAPK Pathway and see also: Feedback between Population and Evolutionary Dynamics Determines the Fate of Social Microbial Populations. An alternative invertebrate representation can be found in Ecological selection as the cause and sexual differentiation as the consequence of species divergence?
Taken together it has become perfectly clear that natural selection and nutrient-dependent ecological divergence precedes sexual divergence and pheromone-dependent sexual selection in the only model of adaptive evolution that incorporates what is currently known about the conserved molecular mechanisms of epigenetic cause and effect (e.g., among microbes; among populations of flightless crickets confined to the Virgin Islands; and in a human population that arose during ~30,000 years in central China).
read more May 16, 2013
Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution of lying.
Excerpt: “Cooperation makes it possible for some individuals to cheat, prospering off the cooperative efforts of others. Cooperate too readily and you might get taken for a ride. Cooperate only grudgingly and you don’t reap the benefits of working together.”
My comment: Their theoretical model appears to have its factual/ biological basis in eco-evolutionary trajectories at the unicellular level of molecular mechanisms for survival of the species. See for example: Feedback between Population and Evolutionary Dynamics Determines the Fate of Social Microbial Populations.
Abstract except: “We directly visualize eco-evolutionary trajectories of hundreds of populations over 50–100 generations, allowing us to characterize the phase space describing the interplay of evolution and ecology in this system. Small populations collapse despite continual evolution towards increased cooperative allele frequencies; large populations with a sufficient number of cooperators “spiral” to a stable state of coexistence between cooperator and cheater strategies.”
Our existence may be equally dependent on liars and cheating, as indicated. However, this may make it no easier to tolerate the lies of your boss, co-workers, family or friends. Ultimately, co-operation with liars ends, although for most people it does not end soon enough. In part, that explains why everything ends badly. If it didn’t end badly, it wouldn’t end.read more May 17, 2013