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

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2
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2answers
187 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
votes
1answer
65 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
votes
2answers
203 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
125 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 ...
1
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0answers
29 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
votes
1answer
571 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 ...
0
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2answers
52 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
votes
2answers
55 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
votes
1answer
90 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
83 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 ...
1
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0answers
42 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
votes
1answer
91 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
votes
1answer
135 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
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
5
votes
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
votes
0answers
23 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
61 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
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
0
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0answers
52 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
votes
1answer
46 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 $$\mathrm{u_x(0,t)+\frac{h(t)}{k(t)}u(0,t)=0}$$ ...
2
votes
2answers
112 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
votes
1answer
41 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
196 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
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
166 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
95 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
vote
1answer
242 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
165 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
66 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
votes
1answer
227 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
votes
1answer
72 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
votes
2answers
176 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
418 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
0
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0answers
84 views

General time reversible model of evolution and Felsenstein model

I would like to get suggestions for the books related to General time reversible model of evolution and Felsenstein model etc. Specifically the mathematical treatment of these topics and concepts ...
0
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0answers
25 views

What's the max speed that humans could run? [duplicate]

Assuming humans could use all of their muscle strength at once, with no need of cooling or energy, how fast could we theoretically run?
8
votes
0answers
93 views

How to define “Quasifixation” in continuous approximation of finite population?

Background Many models including the famous very first models derived by Sir Ronald Fisher in his early career, assume infinite population size. In an infinite population, an allele can rise in ...
8
votes
1answer
208 views

Hill's function for translational regulation

Transcriptional regulation is generally modeled as a Hill's function (similar to Michaelis-Menten Kinetics): $$\frac{dm_X}{dt}=\alpha _{m_X}.\frac{R}{K+R} -\beta _{m_X}.m_X$$ Where $m_X$ is the mRNA ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

Effects of selection on effective population size

Background The effective population size ($N_e$) is a central concept of evolutionary biology and is influenced by several parameters. For example: sex ratio bias affects $N_e$ $\left(N_e = ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

How many traits can a multivariate breeders equation handle?

The multivariate breeders equation (MBE) by Lande predicts the change in a trait $\Delta \bar z$ (response) as $\Delta \bar z = G \beta$ where $G$ is a genetic variance-covariance matrix and ...
4
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0answers
363 views

Mutation-Selection-Drift Equilibrium

mutation-selection-drift equilibrium is one of the most important concept of population genetics. I could easily find the calculations for mutation-secltion equilibrium and for mutation-drift ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Modeling intracellular interactions between sender and receiver bacteria

I am involved in a modelling task of a biological process described as follows: -- "Objective: to model behavior of a sender receiver type system The process goes as follows Pre-signal [PS] is in ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Mutation-drift equilibrium and among loci variance in heterozygosity

At mutation-drift balance, the increased heterozygosity brought by new mutations is exactly equal to the loss of heterozygosity due to genetic drift. At equilibrium, the expected heterozygosity for a ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

What are the application areas of Pattern formation studies specific to biology? [closed]

I was reading about reaction-diffusion processes, morphogenesis concept by Alan Turing and works of Murray in describing pattern formation on animals etc. But one question which came to my mind was ...
7
votes
1answer
756 views

Fisher's Geometric Model for Dummies

Fisher's geometric model is still today one of the most important and fundamental model in evolutionary biology but it seems to me that most student in evolutionary biology don't really understand it ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Defining dominance and selection in these formulae

This paper uses two equations to explain the different conditions under which sexually antagonistic genetic variance is maintained in a population, while allowing for unequal dominance, for ...
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0answers
36 views

Does unequal dominance mean the X-chromosome should be a coldspot for antagonistic variation?

Sexually antagonistic genetic variation, in a simple model, will persist if the benefit to one sex is (near) equal to the cost in the other, otherwise the polymorphism will be selected out of the ...
3
votes
1answer
387 views

How does temperature influence the rate of protein degradation?

For computer modeling purposes, I am looking for some referenced quantitative measurements of the effect(s) of temperature on biochemical reactions. Question In particular, my question is: How does ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Integration of several environmental signals

I am looking for examples of different functions that are good fit to how signals are computed in order to respond to the environment. Let's make my question more copmrehensible with an example... ...
7
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2answers
275 views

How does Natural Selection shape Genetic Variation?

Background Importance of the additive genetic variance As stated here, the fundamental theorem of Natural Selection (NS) by Fisher says: The rate of increase in the mean fitness of any organism ...