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

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2
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1answer
154 views

Are there any theories using thermodynamics/statistical mechanics or information theory principles to modelling in ecology?

So far, I've only known one: the MaxEnt theory. It uses the maximum information entropy developed by information theorist, which in turn inspired by the thermodynamics from physics, to predict the ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

How does one calculate the amount of oxygen produced by trees?

I'm currently working on a project to measure the impact of tree planting. Calculating the amount of oxygen seems harder than I imagined. Of-course there's the type and size of the tree and the ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

How to determine the relationship of competition or cooperation?

I am currently studying the interaction of Twitter memes (two or many), such as competition and cooperation. Is there any model or method in biology that can identify the types of the relationship, ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Discrete vs Continuous Replicator Dynamics

The replicator eqn in the case of discrete non-overlapping generations and asexual reproduction is given by the discrete replicator eqn: $$x_i(t+1) = x_i (t)\frac{f_i(t)}{\bar f (t)}$$ where $x_i$ is ...
1
vote
2answers
210 views

How quantitative is the theory of evolution right now? [closed]

We developed complex structures like eyes and brain, whose mechanisms rely on specific species of molecules and relevant chemical reactions. But we did not develop an enhanced night vision, the ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

The replicator equation vs the Lotka-Volterra equation

Background The replicator equation with $n$ strategies is given by the differential equation: \begin{equation} \dot x_{i} = x_{i} \left( \sum_{j=1}^{n} a_{ij}x_{j} - \phi \right) \qquad i = 1, \...
2
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0answers
51 views

Variance in reproductive success and effective population size

Background The effective population size $Ne$ is the size of the Wright-Fisher population that experience the same amount of drift than the population under consideration. The higher the variance in ...
9
votes
3answers
435 views

Do biological phenomena follow Gaussian statistics?

I have recently entered the life sciences (from physics). I am concerned about the use of p values in the life sciences literature. For example, in this article, they test 9 - 12 rats in a control ...
1
vote
0answers
14 views

Biomolecule , DNA-RNA difference [duplicate]

Why is that a RNA has uracil in place of thymine? RNA could have thymine bases but it has uracil ? What is the reason for the presence of uracil there ?
1
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0answers
28 views

What is the distribution of the expected number of lineages in a birth-death tree after time T?

I've been looking at The reconstructed evolutionary process by Nee et al. 1994 and they provide a number of equations dealing with the birth-death process, specifically the "reconstructed" birth-death ...
6
votes
0answers
65 views

Variance in Fst in the infinite island model

The most famous result in the study of structured populations come from Sewall Wright. He showed that in an island model, where each subpopulation is of size $N$ and the migration rate is $m$, then ...
7
votes
2answers
128 views

Within and Between Allelic Class Diversity

I am reading Charlesworth et al. 1997. 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 (...
2
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
159 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
65 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
77 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
115 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
12
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0answers
127 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
30 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
105 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
votes
0answers
79 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 altruists....
3
votes
1answer
133 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
48 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
votes
1answer
61 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
votes
1answer
79 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
votes
2answers
224 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
76 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
312 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
159 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 ...
2
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0answers
33 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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
votes
2answers
60 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
122 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
2
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0answers
59 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
119 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
141 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
82 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
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2answers
66 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
124 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 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
114 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
44 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
222 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 ...