Changes in the heritable attributes of populations of organisms over time. Major mechanisms include drift, natural selection, mutation, and gene flow (migration).

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650 views

Does pheomelanin have a useful biological function?

Melanin is a natural pigment that is categorized into two main forms, eumelanin and pheomelanin. It's well documented in the science literature that increased eumelanin levels reduces the risk of ...
5
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1answer
56 views

Disproportion in cranial nerve innervation?

The cranial nerve innervation is highly disproportionate, as far as humans are concerned. I am not sure of the advantage of being innervated by cranial nerve versus being innervated by a normal ...
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1answer
49 views

Heterozygosity and overdominance

Consider $m$ loci with heterozygote advantage (overdominance) such that the fitness of the two homozygotes is $1-\frac{s}{2}$ and the fitness of the heterozygotes is $1+\frac{s}{2}$, where $s>0$. ...
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0answers
80 views

Haidinger's brush: Is this a by-product of the eye's physics, or are there any evolutionary grounds for it?

The human eye is, very subtly, sensitive to the polarization of light. This is an effect known as Haidinger's brush (see Wikipedia article of this name). What, if anything, is known or at least ...
7
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0answers
30 views

Beginning of the urogenital system

Are any invertebrate nephridia (proto/meta) homologous with vertebrate kidneys in the sense that embryologically they also begin together with the genital system? When did the embryologic association ...
6
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0answers
58 views

What are the costs associated with carrying lots of genetic material

What are the costs (if any) associated with carrying lots of genetic material? energy for copying? raw material for copying? space in the cell? Maintenance cost (matter and energy)? time to copy is ...
6
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0answers
132 views

Correlation between genome size and mutation rate?

Martin Nowak in his book "Evolutionary Dynamics" talks about a given correlation between genome size and mutation rate. What correlation does exactly exist between these two concepts? Is it a ...
5
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0answers
24 views

Linkage disequilibrium with $n_l$ loci $n_a$ alleles

Linkage disequilibrium $\left(D\right)$ for two bi-allelic loci is defined as: $$D=X_{11}X_{22} - X_{12}X_{21}$$ , where $X_{11}$, $X_{12}$, $X_{21}$, X$_{22}$ are the frequencies of the haplotypes ...
5
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0answers
37 views

Reformulation of Hamiton's rule

Who (and in which article) was the first to reformulate Hamilton's rule using the letters $B$ and $C$?. See below comments on this reformulation. Hamilton, in his 1964's article gave a mathematical ...
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0answers
22 views

Evolution of Chromosome Numbers

Some species have different numbers of chromosomes, as we all know. Throughout evolution, how was a species able to survive with an extra chromosome? How was this organism able to breed successfully ...
4
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0answers
37 views

Effective population size and overlapping generations

From this book; If generations overlap, then the effective population size $N_e$ does not equal the population size $N$. I know mathematical formulations in order to find the effective population ...
4
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0answers
39 views

Selection on linked loci in a diploid population

Let’s consider two linked loci $A$ and $B$ that are both bi-allelic. In consequence, we have four different possible haplotypes $A_1B_1$, $A_1B_2$, $A_2B_1$, $A_2B_2$, which frequencies are $X_1$, ...
4
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0answers
107 views

How many loci explain 50%, 80%, 99%, … of the total genetic variance in fitness?

Standard models in population genetics look up at the evolution of few loci which impact fitness. The variance in fitness is determined by the genetic variance and the environmental variance (and the ...
4
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0answers
47 views

Why isn't RH disease present in other mammals?

Basically, I have read about RH disease, Its rare but it can happen when an RH + baby is conceived by an RH - mother. This raises many questions. I have heard this problem only happens with humans, ...
3
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0answers
21 views

Are there specific features of birds that cats/small predators are attracted to?

I've recently heard a podcast, in which a professor describes one of the theories as to why we like abstract art. In his talk, he mentions an experiment with seagull chicks, in which the seagull ...
3
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0answers
32 views

Visualisation of phylogeography

I am working on phylogeography on one model species and I am a beginner. You can imagine one species that came on locality more than 5 mya (million years ago). It was a good environment, so the ...
3
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0answers
96 views

Empirical evidence for Group Selection?

A controversial concept in Biology "Group Selection", has caused confusion and conflict amongst scientists since the since the mid 1990s. The more general realm of study is termed the "unit of ...
3
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0answers
60 views

Model for fluctuating selection

Is there any mathematical model to predict the behaviour and long-term consequence of counter-acting selection at different time scale? For example, let's consider the bi-allelic gene $A$, with ...
3
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0answers
34 views

Statistics on energy consumption breakdown per biological functions across organisms?

Are there any statistics available on how much energy organisms use for each biological functions (i.e. something similar to the line of "Bacteria spend X% of energy on information processing, Y% for ...
2
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0answers
37 views

Book recommendation on selective breeding?

I am looking for a good book that gives a nice overview of the science and technics of selective breeding. I am particularly interested in the use of population genetics to support decision in this ...
2
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0answers
30 views

Can animals distinguish other animals?

Are animals able to tell the difference between other animals. I dont mean like a cat seeing a dog and thinking "Oh no its a dog". I mean how does prey distinguish predator or threat? Say for instance ...
2
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0answers
34 views

Linkage disequilibrium, genetic drift and fitness variance

The very first two sentences of the abstract of this article is: "In finite populations subject to selection, genetic drift generates negative linkage disequilibrium, on average, even if selection ...
2
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0answers
20 views

Why do hummingbirds build nests with live ferns instead of dead materials?

Hummingbirds prefer to build their nests with spore-bearing ferns, and mosses. This is helpful for the reproduction of the ferns, which are then better able to spread their seeds. But how is this ...
2
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0answers
43 views

Why is duck fat less saturated than cow fat?

Why does the composition of fat in animals vary? Is there an evolutionary advantage to producing fat that is less or more saturated?
2
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0answers
90 views

Population genetics and the fitness probability distribution. Why is the arithmetic mean all we need?

When recording change in allele frequency in diploid, bi-allelic, infinite and panmixic population we usually use this kind of equation: $\delta_p = \frac{p * q *( p (w11 - w12) + q * (w12 - ...
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0answers
6 views

Unresolved polytomic Phylogenetic Tree in MrBayes

I ran MrBayes for 1000000 mcmc generations and the phylogenetic tree which i obtained showed polytomy and was not resolved. Any suggestions as to how to correct it?
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0answers
14 views

Propagation of tool use in primates?

There are several famous cases of great apes demonstrating a surprising degree of wherewithal in communication and tool use - even monkeys can learn some tool use from each other observationally, even ...
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0answers
17 views

Triune brain model

I have heard about the triune brain model in biology class, but my teacher does not know much about it. What I'm curious about, is this model accepted by most of the neuroscientists, or is it just a ...
1
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0answers
27 views

How did the roar evolve from snort?

When Lions roar, or Dogs show aggression, they do that snort-roar thing. They're producing sound while inhaling. How did that come to be when all (?) other forms of sound involve exhaling? Humans do ...
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0answers
33 views

Cambrian explosion and evolutionary arms race

I've seen many times mentioned in textbooks and popular articles that a reason of the Cambrian explosion is an 'evolutionary arms race' between predators and prey. But this isn't really a sufficient ...
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0answers
20 views

Is there an evolutionary advantage for hamsters throwing up food when scared?

My hamster throws up food when scared, and from a general Google search it seems that other hamster-keepers experience the same thing. Why do hamsters do this? What advantage does it serve - now and ...
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0answers
106 views

What are the ESSs among hawks, doves, retaliators, bully and prober retaliators?

In his book "The Selfish Gene", Richard Dawkins says that retaliator emerges as an evolutionary stable strategy. But I think dove is also a kind of retaliator and so if dove increases, the hawks and ...
1
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0answers
28 views

How did specialized nerve-based behaviors emerge in organisms?

There are quite a lot of diversity in behaviors of animals and lesser organisms, like mating, hunting, feeding, hiding and avoiding predators. At the same time I know that many hormones like ...
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0answers
91 views

Why aren't antheridia and archegonia touching?

Antheridia and archegonia are the two male and female gametangia, respectively, and they are found in bryophytes. To cause fertilization, usually a thin film of water must be present for the sperm ...
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0answers
9 views

Effect of natural selection on the phenotypic variance. Empirical studies

Short background Theoretically speaking, natural selection causes a decrease in genetic variance and because the environmental variance should remain unchanged, natural selection causes a decrease of ...
0
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0answers
29 views

comparing conventional phylogenetic tree to phylogenetic trees which are based on enzymes

I built trees (for 4 organisms: mouse, human, drosophila and C-elegans) for different enzymes family, compared them to the conventional tree, and try to explain them. how would you explain these ...
0
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0answers
24 views

What percentage of possible proteins has been tested by human brain evolution?

When the human human brain is discussed, I frequently hear an argument that goes like this "If there was a simple chemical solution for people to be smarter, nature would've already found it". I'm ...
0
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0answers
20 views

Is it possible for bacteria to acquire family-wide antibiotic resistance?

If there is bacteria, lets say Enterococci that is sensitive to: Amoxycillin-Clavulinic acid Ampicillin-Sulbactam Ofloxacin Ciprofloxacin Is it possible to ...
0
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0answers
29 views

Metawatt database setup

I am currently trying to setup Metawatt on my server but am running into trouble as described in my email to the author (who has an auto reply that he will not answer before September). So any help ...