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This book will take an evidence-based approach to current knowledge about biomolecules and their place in our lives, inviting readers to explore how we know what we know, and how current gaps in knowledge may influence the way we approach the information. Biomolecular science is increasingly important in our everyday life, influencing the choices we make about our diet, our health, and our wellness. Often, however, information about biomolecular science is presented as a list of immutable facts, discouraging critical thought. The book will introduce the basic tools of structural biology, supply real-life examples, and encourage critical thought about aspects of biology that are still not fully understood.
This volume is part of the definitive edition of letters written by and to Charles Darwin, the most celebrated naturalist of the nineteenth century. Notes and appendixes put these fascinating and wide-ranging letters in context, making the letters accessible to both scholars and general readers. Darwin depended on correspondence to collect data from all over the world, and to discuss his emerging ideas with scientific colleagues, many of whom he never met in person. The letters are published chronologically: Volume 23 includes letters from 1875, the year in which Darwin wrote and published Insectivorous plants, a botanical work that was a great success with the reading public, and started writing Cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. The volume contains an appendix on the 1875 anti-vivisection debates, with which Darwin was closely involved, giving evidence before a Royal Commission on the subject.
The concepts of veterinary genetics are crucial to understanding and controlling many diseases and disorders in animals. They are also crucial to enhancing animal production. Accessible and clearly presented, Introduction to Veterinary Genetics provides a succinct introduction to the aspects of genetics relevant to animal diseases and production. Now in its third edition, this is the only introductory level textbook on genetics that has been written specifically for veterinary and animal science students. Coverage includes: basic genetics, molecular biology, genomics, cytogenetics, immunogenetics, population genetics, quantitative genetics, biotechnology, and the use of molecular tools in the control of inherited disorders. This book describes in detail how genetics is being applied to artificial selection in animal production. It also covers the conservation of genetic diversity in both domesticated and wild animals. New for the Third Edition: End-of-chapter summaries provide quick recaps. Covers new topics: epigenetics, genomics and bioinformatics. Thoroughly revised according to recent advances in genetics. Introduction to Veterinary Genetics is still the only introductory genetics textbook for students of veterinary and animal science and will continue to be an indispensable reference tool for veterinary students and practitioners alike.
How complex systems theory sheds new light on the adaptive dynamics of viral populations Viruses are everywhere, infecting all sorts of living organisms, from the tiniest bacteria to the largest mammals. Many are harmful parasites, but viruses also play a major role as drivers of our evolution as a species and are essential regulators of the composition and complexity of ecosystems on a global scale. This concise book draws on complex systems theory to provide a fresh look at viral origins, populations, and evolution, and the coevolutionary dynamics of viruses and their hosts. New viruses continue to emerge that threaten people, crops, and farm animals. Viruses constantly evade our immune systems, and antiviral therapies and vaccination campaigns can be powerless against them. These unique characteristics of virus biology are a consequence of their tremendous evolutionary potential, which enables viruses to quickly adapt to any environmental challenge. Ricard Sol and Santiago Elena present a unified framework for understanding viruses as complex adaptive systems. They show how the application of complex systems theory to viral dynamics has provided new insights into the development of AIDS in patients infected with HIV-1, the emergence of new antigenic variants of the influenza A virus, and other cutting-edge advances. Essential reading for biologists, physicists, and mathematicians interested in complexity, Viruses as Complex Adaptive Systems also extends the analogy of viruses to the evolution of other replicators such as computer viruses, cancer, and languages.
Evolutionary ethics - the application of evolutionary ideas to moral thinking and justification - began in the nineteenth century with the work of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, but was subsequently criticized as an example of the naturalistic fallacy. In recent decades, however, evolutionary ethics has found new support among both the Darwinian and the Spencerian traditions. This accessible volume looks at the history of thought about evolutionary ethics as well as current debates in the subject, examining first the claims of supporters and then the responses of their critics. Topics covered include social Darwinism, moral realism, and debunking arguments. Clearly written and structured, the book guides readers through the arguments on both sides, and emphasises the continuing relevance of evolutionary theory to our understanding of ethics today.
This is the first book to describe the forests of the entire tropical Asian region, from Sind to New Guinea. Based on Peter Ashton's working field experience of over 55 years in every country, Burma and Laos excepted. Following a chapter on physical geography and geological history, seven chapters address forest and tree structure and dynamics, floristics, mountain forests, the other organisms on which the forests and trees depend, as well as genetics, evolutionary history, species diversity, and past and present human impact. A final chapter covers future policy and practice options for the sustainment of what remains.
The Microbiology of Central Nervous System Infections, Volume 3, discusses modern approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and prophylaxis of central nervous system (CNS) infections. This new release is divided into five sections that cover treatment strategies, imaging, molecular diagnosis, management of CNS infections with metal nanoparticles, and prophylaxis of CNS infections, including bacterial, viral and fungal infections. The last section contains a chapter on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and modern trends in its diagnosis and treatment. University teachers, medical practitioners, graduate and postgraduate students, researchers in microbiology, and those in the pharmaceutical and laboratory diagnostic industries will find the book very important.
This book is geared for advanced level research in the general subject area of remote sensing and modeling as they apply to the coastal marine environment. The various chapters focus on the latest scientific and technical advances in the service of better understanding coastal marine environments for their care, conservation and management. Chapters specifically deal with advances in remote sensing coastal classifications, environmental monitoring, digital ocean technological advances, geophysical methods, geoacoustics, X-band radar, risk assessment models, GIS applications, real-time modeling systems, and spatial modeling. Readers will find this book useful because it summarizes applications of new research methods in one of the world s most dynamic and complicated environments. Chapters in this book will be of interest to specialists in the coastal marine environment who deals with aspects of environmental monitoring and assessment via remote sensing techniques and numerical modeling."
The study of fossilised remains of herbivorous animals, particularly those rare findings with well-preserved gastrointestinal tracts filled with plant remains, is crucial to our understanding of the environment in which they lived. Summarising thirty years of research, Ukraintseva presents evidence on plants once eaten by Siberia's major herbivorous mammals. The collection of pollen and plant spores from food remains sheds light on the vegetation of these ancient habitats, enabling researchers to reconstruct local floras of the time. This also promotes further insight into the causes of the extinction of various species due to changing environmental conditions and food availability. Providing a history of the research undertaken, the book also includes specific chapters on the Cherski horse and bison, along with the vegetation and climate of Siberia in the late Anthropogene period, making it a lasting reference tool for graduate students and researchers in the field.
Development of the Nervous System, Fourth Edition provides an informative and up-to-date account of our present understanding of the basic principles of neural development as exemplified by key experiments and observations from past and recent times. This book reflects the advances made over the last few years, demonstrating their promise for both therapy and molecular understanding of one of the most complex processes in animal development. This information is critical for neuroscientists, developmental biologists, educators, and students at various stages of their career, providing a clear presentation of the frontiers of this exciting and medically important area of developmental biology. The book includes a basic introduction to the relevant aspects of neural development, covering all the major topics that form the basis of a comprehensive, advanced undergraduate and graduate curriculum, including the patterning and growth of the nervous system, neuronal determination, axonal navigation and targeting, neuron survival and death, synapse formation and plasticity.
How does the brain regulate sexual behavior, or control our body weight? How do we cope with stress? Addressing these questions and many more besides, this thoroughly revised new edition reflects the significant advances that have been made in the study of neuroendocrinology over the last twenty years. The text examines the importance of the hypothalamus in regulating hormone secretion from the endocrine glands, describing novel sites of hormone release including bone, heart, skeletal muscle and liver. The role of steroid hormone, neurotransmitter and peptide receptors, and the molecular responses of target tissues, is integrated into the discussion of the neuroendocrine brain, especially through changes in gene expression. Particular attention is attached to neuropeptides, including their profound influence on behavior. Complete with new full-color figures throughout, along with review and essay questions for each chapter, this is an ideal resource for undergraduate and graduate students of neuroscience, psychology, biology and physiology.
Bioinformatics and Computer Science provides a completely fresh exploration of bioinformatics, which investigates the interrelationship between bioinformatics, biology and computer science and explores key developments in computer science that are critical for its future. The book examines bioinformatics from a unique perspective bridging the gap between what we want computers to do for us in biology, what is actually possible with computer technology today and what may be possible in the future. Bioinformatics and Computer Science investigates where bioinformatics is today, the need for biological databases, their underpinning data types, and current analysis methods. It reflects on how far these approaches have brought us in supporting biological research and how much further we still need to go. It considers knowledge management, data mining, infrastructure, and aspects of human computer interaction and finishes with a review of the state of the art, showcasing some examples of how the main issues are being tackled today. The book contains a wealth of four colour images that illustrate computer graphics, data visualization concepts and examples explored within the text, and is an invaluable resource for all teachers and students working in this area of research.
Is it possible to explain and predict the development of living things? What is development? Articulate answers to these seemingly innocuous questions are far from straightforward. To date, no systematic, targeted effort has been made to construct a unifying theory of development. This novel work offers a unique exploration of the foundations of ontogeny by asking how the development of living things should be understood. It explores the key concepts of developmental biology, asks whether general principles of development can be discovered, and examines the role of models and theories. The two editors (one a biologist with long interest in the theoretical aspects of his discipline, the other a philosopher of science who has mainly worked on biological systems) have assembled a team of leading contributors who are representative of the scientific and philosophical community within which a diversity of thoughts are growing, and out of which a theory of development may eventually emerge. They analyse a wealth of approaches to concepts, models and theories of development, such as gene regulatory networks, accounts based on systems biology and on physics of soft matter, the different articulations of evolution and development, symbiont-induced development, as well as the widely discussed concepts of positional information and morphogenetic field, the idea of a 'programme' of development and its critiques, and the long-standing opposition between preformationist and epigenetic conceptions of development. Towards a Theory of Development is primarily aimed at students and researchers in the fields of 'evo-devo', developmental biology, theoretical biology, systems biology, biophysics, and the philosophy of science.
This book highlights recent advances in natural computing, including biology and its theory, bio-inspired computing, computational aesthetics, computational models and theories, computing with natural media, philosophy of natural computing and educational technology. It presents extended versions of the best papers selected from the symposium "7th International Workshop on Natural Computing" (IWNC7), held in Tokyo, Japan, in 2013. The target audience is not limited to researchers working in natural computing but also those active in biological engineering, fine/media art design, aesthetics and philosophy.
Humans and flies look nothing alike, yet their genetic circuits are remarkably similar. Here, Lewis I. Held, Jr compares the genetics and development of the two to review the evidence for deep homology, the biggest discovery from the emerging field of evolutionary developmental biology. Remnants of the operating system of our hypothetical common ancestor 600 million years ago are compared in chapters arranged by region of the body, from the nervous system, limbs and heart, to vision, hearing and smell. Concept maps provide a clear understanding of the complex subjects addressed, while encyclopaedic tables offer comprehensive inventories of genetic information. Written in an engaging style with a reference section listing thousands of relevant publications, this is a vital resource for scientific researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students.
This book includes the most essential contributions presented at the 17th Evolutionary Biology Meeting in Marseille, which took place in September 2013. It consists of 18 chapters organized according to the following categories: * Molecular and Genome Evolution * Phylogeography of Speciation and Coevolution * Exobiology and Origin of Life The aims of the annual meetings in Marseille, which bring together leading evolutionary biologists and other scientists using evolutionary biology concepts, e.g. for medical research, are to promote the exchange of ideas and to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations. Offering an overview of the latest findings in the field of evolutionary biology, this book represents an invaluable source of information for scientists, teachers and advanced students.
Approximately eight percent of our DNA contains retroviral sequences that are millions of years old. Through engaging stories of scientific discovery, Anna Marie Skalka explains our evolving knowledge of these ancient denizens of the biosphere and how this understanding has significantly advanced research in genetic engineering, gene delivery systems, and precision medicine. Discovering Retroviruses begins with the pioneer scientists who first encountered these RNA-containing viruses and solved the mystery of their reproduction. Like other viruses, retroviruses invade the cells of a host organism to reproduce. What makes them "retro" is a unique process of genetic information transfer. Instead of transcribing DNA into RNA as all living cells do, they transcribe their RNA into DNA. This viral DNA is then spliced into the host's genome, where the cell's synthetic machinery is co-opted to make new virus particles. The 100,000 pieces of retroviral DNA in the human genome are remnants from multiple invasions of our ancestors' "germline" cells-the cells that allow a host organism to reproduce. Most of these bits of retroviral DNA are degenerated fossils, but some have been exploited during evolution, with profound effects on our physiology. Some present-day circulating retroviruses cause cancers in humans and other animals. Others, like HIV, cause severe immunodeficiencies. But retroviruses also hold clues to innovative approaches that can prevent and treat these diseases. In laboratories around the world, retroviruses continue to shed light on future possibilities that are anything but "retro."
Imagining a future in which humans fundamentally reshape the natural world using nanotechnology, synthetic biology, de-extinction, and climate engineering. We have all heard that there are no longer any places left on Earth untouched by humans. The significance of this goes beyond statistics documenting melting glaciers and shrinking species counts. It signals a new geological epoch. In The Synthetic Age, Christopher Preston argues that what is most startling about this coming epoch is not only how much impact humans have had but, more important, how much deliberate shaping they will start to do. Emerging technologies promise to give us the power to take over some of Nature's most basic operations. It is not just that we are exiting the Holocene and entering the Anthropocene; it is that we are leaving behind the time in which planetary change is just the unintended consequence of unbridled industrialism. A world designed by engineers and technicians means the birth of the planet's first Synthetic Age. Preston describes a range of technologies that will reconfigure Earth's very metabolism: nanotechnologies that can restructure natural forms of matter; "molecular manufacturing" that offers unlimited repurposing; synthetic biology's potential to build, not just read, a genome; "biological mini-machines" that can outdesign evolution; the relocation and resurrection of species; and climate engineering attempts to manage solar radiation by synthesizing a volcanic haze, cool surface temperatures by increasing the brightness of clouds, and remove carbon from the atmosphere with artificial trees that capture carbon from the breeze. What does it mean when humans shift from being caretakers of the Earth to being shapers of it? And in whom should we trust to decide the contours of our synthetic future? These questions are too important to be left to the engineers.
The life course method compares an individual's long-life and late-life behaviors to gauge one's mental decay. Arguing the life course approach is the best and simplest model for tracking mental development, Lawrence J. Whalley unlocks the mysteries of brain functionality, illuminating the processes that affect the brain during aging, the causes behind these changes, and effective coping strategies. Whalley identifies the genetic factors that determine the pace of aging and the behaviors, starting in childhood, that influence how we age. Through vignettes, charts, and tables, he composes an accessible book for patients, family members, and caretakers struggling to make sense of a complex experience.
Is it really true that listening to Mozart makes us and our children smarter? Why is there always classical background music in high-class restaurants? Does opera really make cows give more milk and do sharks like Barry White? Darwin believed our ancestors used music in courting, and this eventually led to words. Others reckon music has the same evolutionary role as a delicious cream pie: none. Why, then, do we have music, and how exactly does it give us pleasure? Though scientists have been busy in laboratories and in the field, they propose no unanimous conclusion as yet. From Neanderthal to Metallica, from Pythagoras to neuroscience, this book covers the state of the art in research about our relationship with music, and ends up depicting the birth of a new, extremely fertile and exciting science. Studies of music and the brain have recently attracted intense interest leading to the success of recent books. Bencivelli's distinctive contribution is a broad and inclusive approach, and an easy writing style intended to introduce non-specialist readers to the ways scientists formulate questions and look for answers in this new and fascinating field.
Raging wildfires have devastated vast areas of California and Australia in recent years, and predictions are that we will see more of the same in coming years, as a result of climate change. But this is nothing new. Since the dawn of life on land, large-scale fires have played their part in shaping life on Earth. Andrew Scott tells the whole story of fire's impact on our planet's atmosphere, climate, vegetation, ecology, and the evolution of plant and animal life. It has caused mass extinctions, and it has propelled the spread of flowering plants. The exciting evidence we can now draw on has been preserved in fossilized charcoal, found in rocks hundreds of millions of years old, from all over the world. These reveal incredibly fine details of prehistoric plants, and tell us about climates from deep in earth's history. They also give us insight into how early hominids and humans tamed fire and used it. Looking at the impact of wildfires in our own time, Scott also looks forward to how we might better manage them in future, as climate change has an increasing effect on our world.
What makes us human? How did we develop language, thought and culture? Why did we survive, and other human species fail? The past 12,000 years represent the only time in the sweep of human history when there has been only one human species. How did this extraordinary proliferation of species come about - and then go extinct? And why did we emerge such intellectual giants? The tale of our origins has inevitably been told through the 'stones and bones' of the archaeological record, yet Robin Dunbar shows it was our social and cognitive changes rather than our physical development which truly made us distinct from other species.
What are the models used in phylogenetic analysis and what exactly is involved in Bayesian evolutionary analysis using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods? How can you choose and apply these models, which parameterisations and priors make sense, and how can you diagnose Bayesian MCMC when things go wrong? These are just a few of the questions answered in this comprehensive overview of Bayesian approaches to phylogenetics. This practical guide: * Addresses the theoretical aspects of the field * Advises on how to prepare and perform phylogenetic analysis * Helps with interpreting analyses and visualisation of phylogenies * Describes the software architecture * Helps developing BEAST 2.2 extensions to allow these models to be extended further. With an accompanying website providing example files and tutorials (http://beast2.org/), this one-stop reference to applying the latest phylogenetic models in BEAST 2 will provide essential guidance for all users - from those using phylogenetic tools, to computational biologists and Bayesian statisticians.
Animals often exhibit intriguing and captivating patterns of behavior, from migration and homing, to communication. But how is this behavior controlled? Behavioral Neurobiology introduces undergraduate students and other readers to the fascinating field of neuroethology - the study of the neurobiological processes underlying animal behavior. Written in a lively, easy to read style, it examines the key concepts and ideas which underpin this intricate and elegant subject, and describes many of the ground-breaking discoveries that have helped us to unravel the mechanisms behind the behaviors we can observe. Beginning with a look at the history of the study of behavior, from Aristotle to recent breakthroughs and predictions for the future, the book then reviews the ethological and neurobiological concepts that constitute the essential tools of behavioral neurobiology, before moving on to the field of neuroethology itself. In each chapter, the text not only describes the major findings in each area, but also the methods used to obtain these results. Behavioral Neurobiology has the following accompanying online resources: For students: * Multiple choice questions for you to test yourself * Useful weblinks * A biography of the author and interview about key questions in behavioral neurobiology For lecturers: * Answers to the questions provided at the end of each chapter * Figures from the book in a downloadable format * Journal Club material for each chapter
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