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Minas Nalbandian, Masaki Takeda
Lactate (or its protonated form: lactic acid) has been studied by many exercise scientists. The lactate paradigm has been in constant change since lactate was first discovered in 1780. For many years, it was unfairly seen as primarily responsible for muscular fatigue during exercise and a waste product of glycolysis. The status of lactate has slowly changed to an energy source, and in the last two decades new evidence suggests that lactate may play a much bigger role than was previously believed: many adaptations to exercise may be mediated in some way by lactate...
October 8, 2016: Biology
Stephen O Evans, Michael B Jameson, Ray T M Cursons, Linda M Peters, Steve Bird, Gregory M Jacobson
DNA damage quantitation assays such as the comet assay have focused on the measurement of total nuclear damage per cell. The adoption of PCR-based techniques to quantify DNA damage has enabled sequence- and organelle-specific assessment of DNA lesions. Here we report on an adaptation of a qPCR technique to assess DNA damage in nuclear and mitochondrial targets relative to control. Novel aspects of this assay include application of the assay to the Rotor-Gene platform with optimized DNA polymerase/fluorophore/primer set combination in a touchdown PCR protocol...
October 8, 2016: Biology
Richard A Hawkins, Juan R ViƱa
A facilitative transport system exists on the blood-brain barrier (BBB) that has been tacitly assumed to be a path for glutamate entry to the brain. However, glutamate is a non-essential amino acid whose brain content is much greater than plasma, and studies in vivo show that glutamate does not enter the brain in appreciable quantities except in those small regions with fenestrated capillaries (circumventricular organs). The situation became understandable when luminal (blood facing) and abluminal (brain facing) membranes were isolated and studied separately...
October 8, 2016: Biology
James R Kerfoot, Emily Easter, Ruth M Elsey
Wetland habitats are used as nursery sites for hatchling and juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), where they utilize prey from aquatic and terrestrial settings. However, little is known about how viscosity of the medium influences feeding performance. We hypothesized that timing and linear excursion feeding kinematic variables would be different for individuals feeding on prey above the water compared with the same individuals feeding underwater. Individuals were fed immobile fish prey and feeding events were recorded using a high speed video camera...
September 30, 2016: Biology
Edgar M Williams
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), with their long neck and legs, are unique amongst mammals. How these features evolved is a matter of conjecture. The two leading ideas are the high browse and the sexual-selection hypotheses. While both explain many of the characteristics and the behaviour of giraffe, neither is fully supported by the available evidence. The extended viewing horizon afforded by increased height and a need to maintain horizon vigilance, as a mechanism favouring the evolution of increased height is reviewed...
2016: Biology
Jessica Bruijel, Wisse P van der Meijden, Denise Bijlenga, Farangis Dorani, Joris E Coppens, Bart H W Te Lindert, J J Sandra Kooij, Eus J W Van Someren
Melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells play an important role in the non-image forming effects of light, through their direct projections on brain circuits involved in circadian rhythms, mood and alertness. Individual differences in the functionality of the melanopsin-signaling circuitry can be reliably quantified using the maximum post-illumination pupil response (PIPR) after blue light. Previous protocols for acquiring PIPR relied on the use of mydriatics to dilate the light-exposed eye. However, pharmacological pupil dilation is uncomfortable for the participants and requires ophthalmological expertise...
2016: Biology
Bradly Alicea, Richard Gordon
Embryonic development proceeds through a series of differentiation events. The mosaic version of this process (binary cell divisions) can be analyzed by comparing early development of Ciona intestinalis and Caenorhabditis elegans. To do this, we reorganize lineage trees into differentiation trees using the graph theory ordering of relative cell volume. Lineage and differentiation trees provide us with means to classify each cell using binary codes. Extracting data characterizing lineage tree position, cell volume, and nucleus position for each cell during early embryogenesis, we conduct several statistical analyses, both within and between taxa...
2016: Biology
John S Torday
Natural Selection describes how species have evolved differentially, but it is descriptive, non-mechanistic. What mechanisms does Nature use to accomplish this feat? One known way in which ancient natural forces affect development, phylogeny and physiology is through gravitational effects that have evolved as mechanotransduction, seen in the lung, kidney and bone, linking as molecular homologies to skin and brain. Tracing the ontogenetic and phylogenetic changes that have facilitated mechanotransduction identifies specific homologous cell-types and functional molecular markers for lung homeostasis that reveal how and why complex physiologic traits have evolved from the unicellular to the multicellular state...
2016: Biology
Tatsuki Kunoh, Noriyuki Nagaoka, Ian R McFarlane, Katsunori Tamura, Mohamed Y El-Naggar, Hitoshi Kunoh, Jun Takada
Species of the Fe/Mn-oxidizing bacteria Leptothrix produce tremendous amounts of microtubular, Fe/Mn-encrusted sheaths within a few days in outwells of groundwater that can rapidly clog water systems. To understand this mode of rapid sheath production and define the timescales involved, behaviors of sheath-forming Leptothrix sp. strain OUMS1 were examined using time-lapse video at the initial stage of sheath formation. OUMS1 formed clumps of tangled sheaths. Electron microscopy confirmed the presence of a thin layer of bacterial exopolymer fibrils around catenulate cells (corresponding to the immature sheath)...
2016: Biology
Marcos G Frank
Circadian rhythms refer to oscillations in biological processes with a period of approximately 24 h. In addition to the sleep/wake cycle, there are circadian rhythms in metabolism, body temperature, hormone output, organ function and gene expression. There is also evidence of circadian rhythms in synaptic plasticity, in some cases driven by a master central clock and in other cases by peripheral clocks. In this article, I review the evidence for circadian influences on synaptic plasticity. I also discuss ways to disentangle the effects of brain state and rhythms on synaptic plasticity...
2016: Biology
John S Torday, William B Miller
The conventional understanding of phenotype is as a derivative of descent with modification through Darwinian random mutation and natural selection. Recent research has revealed Lamarckian inheritance as a major transgenerational mechanism for environmental action on genomes whose extent is determined, in significant part, by germ line cells during meiosis and subsequent stages of embryological development. In consequence, the role of phenotype can productively be reconsidered. The possibility that phenotype is directed towards the effective acquisition of epigenetic marks in consistent reciprocation with the environment during the life cycle of an organism is explored...
2016: Biology
James A Shapiro
The 21st century genomics-based analysis of evolutionary variation reveals a number of novel features impossible to predict when Dobzhansky and other evolutionary biologists formulated the neo-Darwinian Modern Synthesis in the middle of the last century. These include three distinct realms of cell evolution; symbiogenetic fusions forming eukaryotic cells with multiple genome compartments; horizontal organelle, virus and DNA transfers; functional organization of proteins as systems of interacting domains subject to rapid evolution by exon shuffling and exonization; distributed genome networks integrated by mobile repetitive regulatory signals; and regulation of multicellular development by non-coding lncRNAs containing repetitive sequence components...
2016: Biology
James E Trosko
The first anaerobic organism extracted energy for survival and reproduction from its source of nutrients, with the genetic means to ensure protection of its individual genome but also its species survival. While it had a means to communicate with its community via simple secreted molecules ("quorum sensing"), the eventual shift to an aerobic environment led to multi-cellular metazoan organisms, with evolutionary-selected genes to form extracellular matrices, stem cells, stem cell niches, and a family of gap junction or "connexin" genes...
2016: Biology
Annalise B Paaby, Greg Gibson
Evolutionary developmental genetics has traditionally been conducted by two groups: Molecular evolutionists who emphasize divergence between species or higher taxa, and quantitative geneticists who study variation within species. Neither approach really comes to grips with the complexities of evolutionary transitions, particularly in light of the realization from genome-wide association studies that most complex traits fit an infinitesimal architecture, being influenced by thousands of loci. This paper discusses robustness, plasticity and lability, phenomena that we argue potentiate major evolutionary changes and provide a bridge between the conceptual treatments of macro- and micro-evolution...
2016: Biology
Tatsuki Kunoh, Hideki Hashimoto, Ian R McFarlane, Naoaki Hayashi, Tomoko Suzuki, Eisuke Taketa, Katsunori Tamura, Mikio Takano, Mohamed Y El-Naggar, Hitoshi Kunoh, Jun Takada
Bacteria classified in species of the genus Leptothrix produce extracellular, microtubular, Fe-encrusted sheaths. The encrustation has been previously linked to bacterial Fe oxidases, which oxidize Fe(II) to Fe(III) and/or active groups of bacterial exopolymers within sheaths to attract and bind aqueous-phase inorganics. When L. cholodnii SP-6 cells were cultured in media amended with high Fe(II) concentrations, Fe(III) precipitates visibly formed immediately after addition of Fe(II) to the medium, suggesting prompt abiotic oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III)...
2016: Biology
John S Torday, William B Miller
A point source is the central and most important point or place for any group of cohering phenomena. Evolutionary development presumes that biological processes are sequentially linked, but neither directed from, nor centralized within, any specific biologic structure or stage. However, such an epigenomic entity exists and its transforming effects can be understood through the obligatory recapitulation of all eukaryotic lifeforms through a zygotic unicellular phase. This requisite biological conjunction can now be properly assessed as the focal point of reconciliation between biology and quantum phenomena, illustrated by deconvoluting complex physiologic traits back to their unicellular origins...
2016: Biology
Warren Burggren
Epigenetics increasingly occupies a pivotal position in our understanding of inheritance, natural selection and, perhaps, even evolution. A survey of the PubMed database, however, reveals that the great majority (>93%) of epigenetic papers have an intra-, rather than an inter-generational focus, primarily on mechanisms and disease. Approximately ~1% of epigenetic papers even mention the nexus of epigenetics, natural selection and evolution. Yet, when environments are dynamic (e.g., climate change effects), there may be an "epigenetic advantage" to phenotypic switching by epigenetic inheritance, rather than by gene mutation...
2016: Biology
Jun Zou, Christopher J Secombes
What is known about the biological activity of fish cytokines is reviewed. Most of the functional studies performed to date have been in teleost fish, and have focused on the induced effects of cytokine recombinant proteins, or have used loss- and gain-of-function experiments in zebrafish. Such studies begin to tell us about the role of these molecules in the regulation of fish immune responses and whether they are similar or divergent to the well-characterised functions of mammalian cytokines. This knowledge will aid our ability to determine and modulate the pathways leading to protective immunity, to improve fish health in aquaculture...
2016: Biology
Olimpio Montero, Marta Velasco, Aurelio Sanz-Arranz, Fernando Rull
Differential profile of membrane lipids and pigments of a Synechococcus sp. cyanobacterial strain cells exposed to blue, green, red and white light are determined by means of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry or diode array detection. Raman and ATR-IR spectra of intact cells under the diverse light wavebands are also reported. Blue light cells exhibited an increased content of photosynthetic pigments as well as specific species of membrane glycerolipids as compared to cells exposed to other wavebands...
2016: Biology
William B Miller
As the prime unification of Darwinism and genetics, the Modern Synthesis continues to epitomize mainstay evolutionary theory. Many decades after its formulation, its anchor assumptions remain fixed: conflict between macro organic organisms and selection at that level represent the near totality of any evolutionary narrative. However, intervening research has revealed a less easily appraised cellular and microbial focus for eukaryotic existence. It is now established that all multicellular eukaryotic organisms are holobionts representing complex collaborations between the co-aligned microbiome of each eukaryote and its innate cells into extensive mixed cellular ecologies...
2016: Biology
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