Questions relating to biological theory or theoretical developments that deals with biological processes.

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Diversity within and between allelic classes?

I am reading this paper. They talk about diversity within and between allelic classes. Nucleotide diversities ($π$) at each neutral site were estimated from the mean of $2 \sum z_t (1-z_t)$, over ...
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1answer
50 views

Why does the number of mutations per individuals follow a Poisson distribution?

I was reading this review. On page 11, left column, first paragraph, one can read: [..] there is a Poisson distribution of the equilibrium number of mutations per individual, if fitness effects ...
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4answers
66 views

Is Insulin-Glucose dynamic Lotka-Volterra?

From Wikipedia: The Lotka–Volterra equations, also known as the predator–prey equations, are a pair of first-order, non-linear, differential equations frequently used to describe the dynamics of ...
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0answers
26 views

Textbook for quantitative biochemistry with thermodynamics, as an alternative to Voet, Voet & Pratt (Fundamentals of Biochemistry)?

I'm looking for a great textbook on biochemistry that covers core topics: relevant aspects of thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, metabolism (e.g. krebs cycle, respiration, etc.). Ideally it would also ...
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27 views

Understanding F-statistics in population genetics

I am reading a classical Weir and Cockerham 1984 paper about Fst estimation. At the beginning (first page, right column), they define 3 statistics. $F$ is the correlation of genes within individuals ...
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3answers
73 views

What fraction of sites are expected to be polymorphic?

Question Consider a very long (eventually infinite) DNA sequence of neutral sites. Consider a panmictic population of constant size $N$ with a per site mutation rate of $\mu$ where all individuals ...
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1answer
45 views

Forward versus backward numerical simulations in population genetics

My question is closely related to this post. There are a number of existing platforms to perform numerical individual-based simulation in populations genetics. An almost exhaustive list of such ...
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0answers
35 views

What have the L-systems (Lindenmayer systems) been actually used for in biology?

Wikipedia: An L-system or Lindenmayer system is a parallel rewriting system and a type of formal grammar. L-systems were introduced and developed in 1968 by Aristid Lindenmayer, a Hungarian ...
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1answer
20 views

Accuracy of best plant growth models?

Given a plant $P$, predict its height $H$ at time $t$ since planting given some environmental variables $E_1, \dots, E_n$. How accurate are the state-of-the-art models for such thing? What data is ...
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1answer
40 views

System biology and evolution: Book-recommendations

I have relatively good knowledge in evolutionary biology and in population genetics. I am getting more and more interested in the evolution of ... genetic developmental processes gene interactions ...
3
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0answers
44 views

How to understand relatedness in an infinite island model?

My understanding is that the relatedness coefficient in kin selection models measures positive assortment. That is, altruism is more likely to evolve if altruists tend to interact with other ...
3
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1answer
85 views

Michaelis-Menten equation type - how it is derived?

Can somebody explain how is the following differential equation found? It is about the blood alcohol content. See this article (pages 3 and 4). They say the concentration of blood alcohol ...
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1answer
41 views

Altruism in viscous (asexual) populations

The viscosity of a population is the tendency of offspring to remain near their place of birth. Taylor 1992 ("Altruism in viscous populations") provides a model to study how viscosity affects the ...
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1answer
24 views

Anopheles arabiensis lifespan and sporogony duration

What is the longest observed lifespan of a mosquito, especially of the species Anopheles arabiensis? How long does it take for Plasmodium parasites to develop and move into the salivary glands of ...
4
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1answer
52 views

Modelling insecticide net efficacy loss [closed]

I am currently doing some work on modelling the effects of treated nets usage on mosquito populations. Nets do not retain their maximum efficacy forever. They lose their chemical efficacy after about ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Better population models than the logistic equation [closed]

For modelling the population of a single species in a region, the logistic equation is used $$ \frac{dN}{dt} =kN\Big(1-\frac{N}{K}\Big) $$ where $N$ is the number of organisms, $K$ is the carrying ...
2
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2answers
116 views

Value of mathematical models in biology [closed]

Sorry if this is too much of a soft question or if it is too broad for this site. As a person who has much more experience with math than biology, I've always been really interested in the ...
5
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1answer
53 views

Queller's 1985 version of Hamilton's rule

Queller 1985 ("Kinship, reciprocity and synergism in the evolution of social behavior") provides a generalization of Hamilton's rule that allows for non-additivity. To accomplish that, Queller writes ...
2
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2answers
63 views

What are multicell spheroids?

I'm from a maths background and I'm doing some research on mathematical models of cancer. I've come across alot of literature mentioning "multicell spheroids" in the context of avascular tumours. I ...
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3answers
73 views

Current along an axon

When an action potential is induced on a neuron, the local transmembrane potential jumps from $E_{\mbox{rest}}$, the resting potential of the neuron, to $E_{\mbox{eq}}$, the equilibrium potential of ...
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0answers
21 views

Analytical Methods for Estimating Probability of Fixation

The probability of fixation $P$ of an allele is an very important measure and there exists several solutions to estimate this probability. Each method has its own assumptions and it is often hard to ...
7
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1answer
90 views

What is the difference between a mechanistic and a statistical predictive model?

The simplest description of the difference between these two approaches that I have found are on this site who summarise the difference as: Mechanistic model: a hypothesized relationship between the ...
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2answers
49 views

Mathematical modelling of omics data [closed]

I'm interested in modelling host-pathogen interactions using mathematics. I know there are good resources in Pubmed but seems I'm looking for a book or introductory reviews. My background in maths is ...
2
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2answers
48 views

How to compute the regression of individual fitness on individual phenotype

Consider a population structured in groups of two individuals. Individuals' interactions follow an additive prisoner's dilemma: \begin{array}{c |c |c|} & C & D \\ \hline \text{Cooperate (} C ...
2
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1answer
65 views

Are there any examples of how to apply evolutionary models?

Apologies if this question it too open-ended; evolutionary biology is not my primary field. I have been reading a lot about the use of statistical mechanics in analyzing evolutionary dynamics. As an ...
7
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1answer
68 views

Basic Modelling in Quantitative Genetics

I am pretty bad in thinking quantitative genetics models. I am trying to get some basic understanding of modelling the evolution of a quantitative trait. I am therefore asking for help to analyze a ...
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0answers
16 views

What is the probability of fixation for a mutant under fluctuating selection?

Here is an answer which explain how one can model the frequency of an allele that is under fluctuating selection (selection that varies through time). Not, thinking about fluctuating selection, there ...
6
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1answer
53 views

Parameters for Fitzhugh-Nagumo model of Action Potential

I'm a high school student who's currently in AP Biology, so my background in biology is quite limited. I'm interested in mathematically modelling action potentials. Doing a quick google search, I ...
11
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1answer
125 views

Biostatistics: Pollen dispersal directionality

What Information am I looking for? Think about a tree that is sending pollen all over the place. Because of wind, most pollen grain will go toward one direction. Imagine, we split the 2D area around ...
2
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1answer
65 views

Modeling inclusive fitness

Consider a population of two altruist with coefficient of relatedness $r$. The average inclusive fitness of this population will be $w_{0} + br -c$. Like in this example, assignment of inclusive ...
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2answers
1k views

What has caused life to choose this unfathomably tiny subset of all possible proteins?

I wonder why life uses the particular proteins that it does, about 10^6 different proteins, I think? Evolution cannot explain it because the number of possible proteins is far far too large to ever ...
3
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0answers
18 views

Is emergence connected to nature's transition between fractal regimes at different size scales?

A fractal algorithm like Mandelbrot is self-similar in all size scales. This is not the case in nature. A tree is fractal in the sense that each branch is similar to the tree as a whole. But that is ...
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2answers
55 views

Hopeful Monsters in Plants? [closed]

Does anyone know of any research/examples on Hopeful Monsters in Plants? I define Hopeful Monsters as organisms of a species that have macroevolutions to prompt new speciations. These ...
2
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1answer
36 views

What governs the distribution of blood vessels?

Whenever someone is sick, doctor places 2 fingers on wrist & observes the heart-beat-rate by feeling pulses of a certain artery. To me it seems the distribution of blood vessels are pretty ...
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45 views

Best software for protein in electric field modeling?

I'm trying to find a free, or cheap, software program to model the movement of a heterotrimeric protein in an alternating electric field. The dipole and crystal structure of the trimer are known. ...
0
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1answer
37 views

ratio between heat transfer coefficient and thermal conductivity [closed]

Consider the Robin boundary condition for the diffusion/heat equation $\mathrm{u_t=a(t)u_{xx}+f(x,t)}$: $$\mathrm{-k(t)u_x(0,t)=h(t)u(0,t)}$$ or $$\mathrm{u_x(0,t)+\frac{h(t)}{k(t)}u(0,t)=0}$$ ...
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2answers
102 views

Core Biological concepts explained to a Computer Scientist?

I am a computer scientist delving into Bioinformatics and I need to gain insight in biological phenomena. How would you explain three core concepts as: Evolution, Selection and Variation, to a ...
3
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1answer
37 views

Richard Goldschmidt's “systemic mutations”?

[TLDR] I dont understand the fault people had/have with Richard Goldscmidt's concept of systemic mutations [/TLDR] As a preface, I am a undergrad biology student, so sorry if this is a "Stupid ...
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80 views

Expected time for a neutral allele to reach a frequency of $p_1$ when starting at frequency $p_0$

Kimura and Ohta (1968) showed that the expected time for a neutral allele to reach fixation (given that it will reach fixation) is $$\bar t(p_0)=-4N\left(\frac{1-p_0}{p_0}\right)\ln(1-p_0),$$ where ...
4
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1answer
68 views

Mathematical models of lineage selection

I'm interested in the concept of lineage selection (Aboitiz, 1991) as an explanation for why traits would be selected for that enhance the rate at which evolution can occur, rather than directly ...
6
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2answers
126 views

Is there a biological neuron that spikes in response to hyperpolarizing currents?

As some background I've been building Electrophysiological models of neurons, and in the process stumbled upon a model, that in all respects is biologically plausible, but has a bizarre property I ...
4
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1answer
63 views

How does the value of K determine number of local optima in NK model?

BACKGROUND The NK model of fitness landscape considers N states which can interact with K other states. For example N is the total number of genes in a haploid genome and K is the number of other ...
1
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1answer
113 views

Why sigmoid curves appear in quantitative analysis of many biological phenomena? [closed]

I know two examples: 1-The binding of hemoglobin to oxygen (binding of oxygen to one site of hemoglobin induces conformational changes which increase the affinity of the other sites for oxygen - the ...
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3answers
105 views

Does the necessary Carbon Dioxide need to be in the atmosphere for mammals?

In the answers to this question, we've learnt that carbon dioxide is necessary for mammalian life, but is it necessary in the atmosphere/to breathe it in? Or does the act of respiration give a ...
2
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0answers
42 views

Is there a standard formula/calculation for sexual dimorphism?

Is there a standard, or most accepted, way to present a value for sexual dimorphism? For example, one could use $$\frac{\text{Female value}}{\text{Male value}} -1$$ This would give negative values ...
4
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1answer
187 views

A colony of humans are sent to an alien world, at what point would the descendants evolve to be genetically incompatible with Earth humans? [closed]

I recently heard about the evolution of the London Underground mosquitoes, and how they have changed genetically enough that they almost can no longer reproduce with above ground mosquitos. Since this ...
2
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1answer
52 views

Why can blood vessel contraction be described as a second order system?

Suppose that the x-axis represents time, and the y-axis vessel diameter. Then this graph is claimed to roughly describe what happens when the blood pressure increases, then decreases. When the ...
6
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2answers
167 views

Hamilton's inclusive fitness approach

The underlying intuition of Hamilton's model of inclusive fitness is that we should study social behaviors from the point of view of actors -- rather than the recipients. To build his model, Hamilton ...
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1answer
279 views

What physics knowledge can be applied to biology of organisms and ecosystems?

In the wiki page of Biophysics: Biophysics spans all scales of biological organization, from the molecular scale to whole organisms and ecosystems. But after searching on the internet; the ...
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1answer
73 views

Hamilton's derivation of direct fitness from his 1970 paper

In his 1970 paper "Selfish and Spiteful Behaviour in an Evolutionary Model", Hamilton uses Price's equation to derive his well-known rule $rb -c >0$. My question is about one of the steps in his ...