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Moving beyond ecocomposition, this book galvanizes conversations in ecology and writing not with an eye toward homogenization, but with an agenda of firmly establishing the significance of writing research that intersects with ecology. It looks to establish ecological writing studies not just as a legitimate or important form of writing research, but as paramount to the future of writing studies and writing theory. Complex ecologies, writing studies, and new-media/post-media converge to highlight network theories, systems theories, and posthumanist theories as central in the shaping of writing theory, and this study embraces work in these areas as essential to the development of ecological theories of writing. Contributors address ecological theories of writing by way of diverse and promising avenues, united by the underlying commitment to better understand how ecological methodologies might help better inform our understanding of writing and might provoke new theories of writing. Ecology, Writing Theory, and New Media fuels future theoretical conversations about ecology and writing and will be of interest to those who are interested in theories of writing and the function of writing.
This title includes a number of Open Access chapters. Environmental chemistry is an interdisciplinary field of study that involves the science of ecology as well as chemistry. Environmental chemistry covers the basic chemistry and biochemistry that occur naturally in the world around us. It focuses on the air, water, and land. Environmental science normally begins by determining the chemical reactions that are occurring in the environment when all systems are in balance and then goes on the discover how chemistry has changed when there is an imbalance caused by stress or pollution. The field is constantly changing, with new discoveries being made all the time. The availability of new and more sensitive instruments in analytical science is enabling the detection of smaller and smaller concentrations of pollutants in the environment. This new volume deals with a host of important topics in environmental chemistry, such as pesticide-related illnesses in humans and plants, the effects of litterfall in the soil of tropical forests, toxicants in various bodies of water, and much more.
With an Introduction by Jeff Wallace. 'A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die...'. Darwin's theory of natural selection issued a profound challenge to orthodox thought and belief: no being or species has been specifically created; all are locked into a pitiless struggle for existence, with extinction looming for those not fitted for the task. Yet The Origin of Species (1859) is also a humane and inspirational vision of ecological interrelatedness, revealing the complex mutual interdependencies between animal and plant life, climate and physical environment, and - by implication - within the human world. Written for the general reader, in a style which combines the rigour of science with the subtlety of literature, The Origin of Species remains one of the founding documents of the modern age.
The notion of matching diet with an individual's genetic makeup is transforming the way the public views nutrition as a means of managing health and preventing disease. To fulfill the promise of nutritional genomics, researchers are beginning to reconcile the diverse properties of dietary factors with our current knowledge of genome structure and gene function. What is emerging is a complex system of interactions that make the human genome exquisitely sensitive to our nutritional environment. Nutritional Genomics: The Impact of Dietary Regulation of Gene Function on Human Disease provides an integrated view of how genomic and epigenetic processes modulate the impact of dietary factors on health. Written as a resource for researchers, nutrition educators, and policy makers, this book contains the latest scientific findings on the mechanisms of action underlying diet-genome interactions. It presents a unique perspective on the fundamentals of nutritional genomics from genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Contributing authors introduce the important areas of cell signaling and transduction, the intricate regulation of gene expression, and alteration of gene-linked chronic diseases, such as obesity-induced inflammation, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The authors detail significant areas of interest within nutritional genomics-including plant-based foods as epigenetic modifiers of gene function and the effects of bioactive phytochemicals on inherited genotype and expressed phenotypes. They also discuss the role of vitamin D in various cancer risks and the gastrointestinal tract as a defense system. Given the key role played by agriculture and the food industry to produce foods to meet personalized health needs, the book also addresses agricultural breeding efforts to enhance nutritional value and the use of technology to increase bioactive ingredients in the food supply. The final chapters discuss manufacturing practices and novel processing techniques for retention of nutrients and bioactive components, as well as the need for regulatory oversight and proper labeling to establish assurance of safety and benefit. An excellent resource for this exciting field, the book identifies future directions for research and opportunities for improving global health and wellness by preventing, delaying, or mitigating chronic diseases with diet.
How did life start? Is the evolution of life describable by any physics-like laws? Stuart Kauffman's latest book offers an explanation-beyond what the laws of physics can explain-of the progression from a complex chemical environment to molecular reproduction, metabolism and to early protocells, and further evolution to what we recognize as life. Among the estimated one hundred billion solar systems in the known universe, evolving life is surely abundant. That evolution is a process of "becoming" in each case. Since Newton, we have turned to physics to assess reality. But physics alone cannot tell us where we came from, how we arrived, and why our world has evolved past the point of unicellular organisms to an extremely complex biosphere. Building on concepts from his work as a complex systems researcher at the Santa Fe Institute, Kauffman focuses in particular on the idea of cells constructing themselves and introduces concepts such as "constraint closure." Living systems are defined by the concept of "organization" which has not been focused on in enough in previous works. Cells are autopoetic systems that build themselves: they literally construct their own constraints on the release of energy into a few degrees of freedom that constitutes the very thermodynamic work by which they build their own self creating constraints. Living cells are "machines" that construct and assemble their own working parts. The emergence of such systems-the origin of life problem-was probably a spontaneous phase transition to self-reproduction in complex enough prebiotic systems. The resulting protocells were capable of Darwin's heritable variation, hence open-ended evolution by natural selection. Evolution propagates this burgeoning organization. Evolving living creatures, by existing, create new niches into which yet further new creatures can emerge. If life is abundant in the universe, this self-constructing, propagating, exploding diversity takes us beyond physics to biospheres everywhere.
This title includes a number of Open Access chapters. Environmental science integrates physical and biological sciences to the study of the environment, with the goal of solving today's environmental challenges. Many of these challenges tie into a greater concept of using the earth's resources sustainably. This collection brings together some very important advances in environmental science, including how climate change affects plant disease, how to keep birds and bats away from wind turbines, disinfecting polluted water for drinking, how climate policy impacts natural habitats, cancer risk due to ecological issues, and much more.
Like engineering systems, biological systems must also operate effectively in the presence of internal and external uncertainty-such as genetic mutations or temperature changes, for example. It is not surprising, then, that evolution has resulted in the widespread use of feedback, and research in systems biology over the past decade has shown that feedback control systems are widely found in biology. As an increasing number of researchers in the life sciences become interested in control-theoretic ideas such as feedback, stability, noise and disturbance attenuation, and robustness, there is a need for a text that explains feedback control as it applies to biological systems. Written by established researchers in both control engineering and systems biology, Feedback Control in Systems Biology explains how feedback control concepts can be applied to systems biology. Filling the need for a text on control theory for systems biologists, it provides an overview of relevant ideas and methods from control engineering and illustrates their application to the analysis of biological systems with case studies in cellular and molecular biology. Control Theory for Systems Biologists The book focuses on the fundamental concepts used to analyze the effects of feedback in biological control systems, rather than the control system design methods that form the core of most control textbooks. In addition, the authors do not assume that readers are familiar with control theory. They focus on "control applications" such as metabolic and gene-regulatory networks rather than aircraft, robots, or engines, and on mathematical models derived from classical reaction kinetics rather than classical mechanics. Another significant feature of the book is that it discusses nonlinear systems, an understanding of which is crucial for systems biologists because of the highly nonlinear nature of biological systems. The authors cover tools and techniques for the analysis of linear and nonlinear systems; negative and positive feedback; robustness analysis methods; techniques for the reverse-engineering of biological interaction networks; and the analysis of stochastic biological control systems. They also identify new research directions for control theory inspired by the dynamic characteristics of biological systems. A valuable reference for researchers, this text offers a sound starting point for scientists entering this fascinating and rapidly developing field.
Phosphatases, such as TNAP are fundamental in regulating the roles of cellular, and consequently numerous body functions. TNAP is a ubiquitous enzyme with a wide spectrum of substrates and specificity. Regulation at the cellular level and the lack of TNAP activity is a lethal condition. Recent findings of a highly specific regional, laminar and subcellular localization of TNAP in the cerebral cortex indicates that in addition to its metabolic and skeletal functions, TNAP also plays a role in regulating cerebral functions, most probably cognition. In fact, TNAP disturbance could result in complex diseases such as epilepsy, developmental retardation and Alzheimer's disease. Available data suggest that, regarding brain functions, TNAP is a potentially important target of clinical research. This book aims to provide an overview of our current understanding of the functions of TNAP in the brain and on other tissues and organs.
One of the most profound paradigms that have transformed our understanding about life over the last decades was the acknowledgement that microorganisms play a central role in shaping the past and present environments on Earth and the nature of all life forms. Each organism is the product of its history and all extant life traces back to common ancestors, which were microorganisms. Nowadays, microorganisms represent the vast majority of biodiversity on Earth and have survived nearly 4 billion years of evolutionary change. Microbial evolution occurred and continues to take place in a great variety of environmental conditions. However, we still know little about the processes of evolution as applied to microorganisms and microbial populations. In addition, the molecular mechanisms by which microorganisms communicate/interact with each other and with multicellular organisms remains poorly understood. Such patterns of microbe-host interaction are essential to understand the evolution of microbial symbiosis and pathogenesis.Recent advances in DNA sequencing, high-throughput technologies, and genetic manipulation systems have enabled studies that directly characterize the molecular and genomic bases of evolution, producing data that are making us change our view of the microbial world. The notion that mutations in the coding regions of genomes are, in combination with selective forces, the main contributors to biodiversity needs to be re-examined as evidence accumulates, indicating that many non-coding regions that contain regulatory signals show a high rate of variation even among closely related organisms. Comparative analyses of an increasing number of closely related microbial genomes have yielded exciting insight into the sources of microbial genome variability with respect to gene content, gene order and evolution of genes with unknown functions. Furthermore, laboratory studies (i.e. experimental microbial evolution) are providing fundamental biological insight through direct observation of the evolution process. They not only enable testing evolutionary theory and principles, but also have applications to metabolic engineering and human health. Overall, these studies ranging from viruses to Bacteria to microbial Eukaryotes are illuminating the mechanisms of evolution at a resolution that Darwin, Delbruck and Dobzhansky could barely have imagined. Consequently, it is timely to review and highlight the progress so far as well as discuss what remains unknown and requires future research. This book explores the current state of knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of microbial evolution with a collection of papers written by authors who are leading experts in the field.
An authoritative overview of the ecological activities of microbes in the biosphere Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology presents a broad overview of microbial activity and microbes' interactions with their environments and communities. Adopting an integrative approach, this text covers both conventional ecological issues as well as cross-disciplinary investigations that combine facets of microbiology, ecology, environmental science and engineering, molecular biology, and biochemistry. Focusing primarily on single-cell forms of prokaryotes -- and cellular forms of algae, fungi, and protozoans -- this book enables readers to gain insight into the fundamental methodologies for the characterization of microorganisms in the biosphere. The authors draw from decades of experience to examine the environmental processes mediated by microorganisms and explore the interactions between microorganisms and higher life forms. Highly relevant to modern readers, this book examines topics including the ecology of microorganisms in engineered environments, microbial phylogeny and interactions, microbial processes in relation to environmental pollution, and many more. Now in its second edition, this book features updated references and major revisions to chapters on assessing microbial communities, community relationships, and their global impact. New content such as effective public communication of research findings and advice on scientific article review equips readers with practical real-world skills. Explores the activities of microorganisms in specific environments with case studies and actual research data Highlights how prominent microbial biologists address significant microbial ecology issues Offers guidance on scientific communication, including scientific presentations and grant preparation Includes plentiful illustrations and examples of microbial interactions, community structures, and human-bacterial connections Provides chapter summaries, review questions, selected reading lists, a complete glossary, and critical thinking exercises Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology is an ideal textbook for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in biology, microbiology, ecology, and environmental science, while also serving as a current and informative reference for microbiologists, cell and molecular biologists, ecologists, and environmental professionals.
Mismatch negativity (MMN) is the electrophysiological change-detection response of the brain. MMN is stimulated when there is any discernible change to a repetitive sequence of sound, occurring even in the absence of attention. MMN is an automatic response and causes an involuntary attentional shift, representing a function which is of vital significance. A parallel response can also be detected in the other sensory modalities- visual, somatosensory, and olfactory. MMN occurs in different species, and across the different developmental stages, from infancy to old age. Importantly, the MMN response is affected in different cognitive brain disorders, providing an index to the severity of the disorder and consequently, a guide to the effectiveness of different treatments. MMN has become extremely popular around the world for investigating a wide range of clinical populations. It is a versatile tool for studying perception, memory, and learning functions in both the healthy and dysfunctional brain. Furthermore, being elicited irrespective of attention, it is ideal for investigating inattentive participants, such as sleeping infants or patients in a coma, whose cognitive processes are otherwise hard to access. Written by pioneers and leading authorities in the subject, this book provides an introduction to MMN and its contribution within different clinical fields: developmental disorders, neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders, and aging.
With climate change and increasing globalisation of trade and travel, the risks presented by invasive pests and pathogens to natural environments, agriculture and economies have never been greater, and are only increasing with time. Governments world-wide are responding to these increased threats by strengthening quarantine and biosecurity. This book presents a comprehensive review of risk-based techniques that help policy makers and regulators protect national interests from invasive pests and pathogens before, at, and inside national borders. Selected from the research corpus of the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis at the University of Melbourne, this book provides solutions that reflect scientific rigour coupled with practical, hands-on applications. Focusing on surveillance, stochastic modelling, intelligence gathering, decision making and risk communication, the contents combine the strengths of risk analysts, mathematicians, economists, biologists and statisticians. The book presents tested scientific solutions to the greatest challenges faced by quarantine and biosecurity policy makers and regulators today.
Applied Urban Ecology: A Global Framework explores ways in which the environmental quality of urban areas can be improved starting with existing environmental conditions and their dynamics. Written by an internationally renowned selection of scientists and practitioners, the book covers a broad range of established and novel approaches to applied urban ecology. Approaches chosen for the book are placed in the context of issues such as climate change, green- and open-space development, flood-risk assessment, threats to urban biodiversity, and increasing environmental pollution (especially in the "megacities" of newly industrialized countries). All topics covered were chosen because they are socially and socio-politically relevant today. Further topics covered include sustainable energy and budget management, urban water resource management, urban land management, and urban landscape planning and design. Throughout the book, concepts and methods are illustrated using case studies from around the world. A closing synopsis draws conclusions on how the findings of urban ecological research can be used in strategic urban management in the future. Applied Urban Ecology: A Global Framework is an advanced textbook for students, researchers and experienced practitioners in urban ecology and urban environmental research, planning, and practice.
Most books and courses in ecology cover facts and concepts but don't explain how to actually do ecological research. "How to Do Ecology" provides nuts-and-bolts advice on organizing and conducting a successful research program. This one-of-a-kind book explains how to choose a research question and answer it through manipulative experiments and systematic observations. Because science is a social endeavor, the book provides strategies for working with other people, including professors and collaborators. It suggests effective ways to communicate your findings in the form of journal articles, oral presentations, posters, and grant and research proposals. The book also includes ideas to help you identify your goals, organize a season of fieldwork, and deal with negative results. In short, it makes explicit many of the unspoken assumptions behind doing good research in ecology and provides an invaluable resource for meaningful conversations between ecologists.
This second edition of "How to Do Ecology" features new sections on conducting and analyzing observational surveys, job hunting, and becoming a more creative researcher, as well as updated sections on statistical analyses.
How do plant and animal populations change genetically to evolve and adapt to their local environments? How do populations grow and interact with one another through competition and predation? How does behaviour influence ecology and evolution? This second edition of Dick Neal's unique textbook on population biology addresses these questions and offers a comprehensive analysis of evolutionary theory in the areas of ecology, population genetics, and behaviour. Taking a quantitative and Darwinian perspective, Neal uses mathematical models to develop the basic theory of population processes. Key features in this edition include new chapters on inbreeding and species interactions and community structure, a modified structure in Part II, more recent empirical examples to illustrate the application of theoretical models to the world around us, and end-of-chapter problems to help students with self-assessment. A series of spreadsheet simulations have also been conveniently located online, for students to further improve their understanding of such models.
How do minds make societies, and how do societies change? Paul Thagard systematically connects neural and psychological explanations of mind with major social sciences (social psychology, sociology, politics, economics, anthropology, and history) and professions (medicine, law, education, engineering, and business). Social change emerges from interacting social and mental mechanisms. Many economists and political scientists assume that individuals make rational choices, despite the abundance of evidence that people frequently succumb to thinking errors such as motivated inference. Much of sociology and anthropology is taken over with postmodernist assumptions that everything is constructed on the basis of social relations such as power, with no inkling that these relations are mediated by how people think about each other. Mind-Society displays the interdependence of the cognitive and social sciences by describing the interconnections among mental and social mechanisms, which interact to generate social changes ranging from marriage patterns to wars. Validation comes from detailed studies of important social changes, from norms about romantic relationships to economic practices, political institutions, religious customs, and international relations. This book belongs to a trio that includes Brain-Mind: From Neurons to Consciousness and Creativity and Natural Philosophy: From Social Brains to Knowledge, Reality, Morality, and Beauty. They can be read independently, but together they make up a Treatise on Mind and Society that provides a unified and comprehensive treatment of the cognitive sciences, social sciences, professions, and humanities.
This volume brings together the letters of the great Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) during his famous travels of 1854-62 in the Malay Archipelago (now Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia). it was these travels which led him to come independently to the same conclusion as Charles Darwin: that evolution occurs through natural selection. Beautifully written, the letters are filled with lavish descriptions of the remote regions he explored, the peoples, and fascinating details of the many new species of mammals, birds, and insects he discovered during his time there. John van Wyhe and Kees Rookmaaker present new transcriptions of each of the letters, including recently discovered letters that shed light on the voyage and on questions such as Wallace's reluctance to publish on evolution, and why he famously chose to write to Darwin rather than to send his work to a journal directly. A revised account of Wallace's itinerary based on new research by the editors forms part of an introduction that sets the context of the voyage, and the volume includes full notes to all letters. Together the letters form a remarkable and vivid document of one of the most important journeys of the 19th century by a great Victorian naturalist.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER *Why does your foot hit the brake pedal before you are conscious of danger ahead?* *Why is it so difficult to keep a secret?* *How is it possible to get angry at yourself: who, exactly, is mad at whom?* In this sparkling and provocative book, renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain. Taking in brain damage, plane spotting, dating, drugs, beauty, infidelity, synaesthesia, criminal law, artificial intelligence and visual illusions, INCOGNITO is a thrilling subsurface exploration of the mind and all its contradictions.
Over millions of years in the fossil record, hominin teeth preserve a high-fidelity record of their own growth, development, wear, chemistry and pathology. They yield insights into human evolution that are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve through other sources of fossil or archaeological data. Integrating dental findings with current debates and issues in palaeoanthropology, this book shows how fossil hominin teeth shed light on the origins and evolution of our dietary diversity, extended childhoods, long lifespans, and other fundamental features of human biology. It assesses methods to interpret different lines of dental evidence, providing a critical, practical approach that will appeal to students and researchers in biological anthropology and related fields such as dental science, oral biology, evolutionary biology, and palaeontology.
Community ecology has undergone a transformation in recent years, from a discipline largely focused on processes occurring within a local area to a discipline encompassing a much richer domain of study, including the linkages between communities separated in space (metacommunity dynamics), niche and neutral theory, the interplay between ecology and evolution (eco-evolutionary dynamics), and the influence of historical and regional processes in shaping patterns of biodiversity. To fully understand these new developments, however, students continue to need a strong foundation in the study of species interactions and how these interactions are assembled into food webs and other ecological networks. This new edition fulfils the book's original aims, both as a much-needed up-to-date and accessible introduction to modern community ecology, and in identifying the important questions that are yet to be answered. This research-driven textbook introduces state-of-the-art community ecology to a new generation of students, adopting reasoned and balanced perspectives on as-yet-unresolved issues.
Study design and statistical methodology are two important concerns for the clinical researcher. This book sets out to address both issues in a clear and concise manner. The presentation of statistical theory starts from basic concepts, such as the properties of means and variances, the properties of the Normal distribution and the Central Limit Theorem and leads to more advanced topics such as maximum likelihood estimation, inverse variance and stepwise regression as well as, time-to-event, and event-count methods. Furthermore, this book explores sampling methods, study design and statistical methods and is organized according to the areas of application of each of the statistical methods and the corresponding study designs. Illustrations, working examples, computer simulations and geometrical approaches, rather than mathematical expressions and formulae, are used throughout the book to explain every statistical method. Biostatisticians and researchers in the medical and pharmaceutical industry who need guidance on the design and analyis of medical research will find this book useful as well as graduate students of statistics and mathematics with an interest in biostatistics. Biostatistics Decoded: * Provides clear explanations of key statistical concepts with a firm emphasis on practical aspects of design and analysis of medical research. * Features worked examples to illustrate each statistical method using computer simulations and geometrical approaches, rather than mathematical expressions and formulae. * Explores the main types of clinical research studies, such as, descriptive, analytical and experimental studies. * Addresses advanced modeling techniques such as interaction analysis and encoding by reference and polynomial regression.
This detailed volume compiles the best methodologies and experimental techniques to profile and extract maximal data from brain tumor stem cells (BTSCs), the experimental paradigm for brain cancer research that offers insights into cancer stem cell populations that may drive not only tumor initiation but tumor recurrence and patient relapse. The BTSC model recapitulates scientific observations made in brain cancer patients, and these chapters provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the skills and techniques that will unlock data from this most informative subset of cells. Written for the highly successful Methods in Molecular Biology series, chapters include introductions to their respective topics, lists of the necessary materials and reagents, step-by-step, readily reproducible laboratory protocols, and tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls. Authoritative and practical, Brain Tumor Stem Cells: Methods and Protocols serves as an ideal guide for researchers seeking to better understand the complexities of brain cancer.
This volume focuses on small mammal fossils from extinct Asian faunas of about 1 to 7 million years ago in North China. These played a role in the emergence of vertebrate paleontology as a modern science in that country. This second volume of the sub-series Late Cenozoic Yushe Basin, Shanxi Province, China: Geology and Fossil Mammals in the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology book series deals with a rich microfauna fossil record; megafauna follow in subsequent volumes. This research on Yushe Basin fossils provides a view of changes in northeast Asian terrestrial faunas during the Late Neogene, and therefore is a key to the biochronology for a vast part of the continent. The faunas recovered by the multinational team working in this region represent changes in small mammal communities of the Yushe Basin, revealed on a finer time scale that has not been achieved previously. Detailed systematic studies on small mammal groups proceeded under the care of specialists are outlined in the chapters of this volume. Paleontologists, ecologists and evolutionary biologists will find this book appealing.
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