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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29038481/the-social-and-cultural-roots-of-whale-and-dolphin-brains
#1
Kieran C R Fox, Michael Muthukrishna, Susanne Shultz
Encephalization, or brain expansion, underpins humans' sophisticated social cognition, including language, joint attention, shared goals, teaching, consensus decision-making and empathy. These abilities promote and stabilize cooperative social interactions, and have allowed us to create a 'cognitive' or 'cultural' niche and colonize almost every terrestrial ecosystem. Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) also have exceptionally large and anatomically sophisticated brains. Here, by evaluating a comprehensive database of brain size, social structures and cultural behaviours across cetacean species, we ask whether cetacean brains are similarly associated with a marine cultural niche...
October 16, 2017: Nature ecology & evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29033352/the-primate-specific-gene-tmem14b-marks-outer-radial-glia-cells-and-promotes-cortical-expansion-and-folding
#2
Jing Liu, Wensu Liu, Lu Yang, Qian Wu, Haofeng Zhang, Ai Fang, Long Li, Xiaohui Xu, Le Sun, Jun Zhang, Fuchou Tang, Xiaoqun Wang
Human brain evolution is associated with expansion and folding of the neocortex. Increased diversity in neural progenitor (NP) populations (such as basally located radial glia [RG], which reside in an enlarged outer subventricular zone [OSVZ]) likely contributes to this evolutionary expansion, although their characteristics and relative contributions are only partially understood. Through single-cell transcriptional profiling of sorted human NP subpopulations, we identified the primate-specific TMEM14B gene as a marker of basal RG...
October 10, 2017: Cell Stem Cell
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29029327/the-exonization-and-functionalization-of-an-alu-j-element-in-the-protein-coding-region-of-glycoprotein-hormone-alpha-gene-represent-a-novel-mechanism-to-the-evolution-of-hemochorial-placentation-in-primates
#3
Haidi Chen, Li Chen, Yune Wu, Hao Shen, Guang Yang, Cheng Deng
Alu elements contribute considerably to gene regulation and genome evolution in primates. The generation of new exons from Alu elements has been found in various human genes, and the regulatory function of the Alu exon has been investigated in many studies. However, the functionalization of Alu elements in protein coding regions remains unknown. Here, we reported that an Alu-J element exonized in the glycoprotein hormone alpha (GPHA) gene and encoded an additional N-terminal peptide (Alu-J encoding peptide) of the mature GPHA peptide, leading to a splicing variant of Alu-GPHA in anthropoid primates approximately 35 million years ago...
September 26, 2017: Molecular Biology and Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29027335/occasional-obligatory-and-habitual-stone-tool-use-in-hominin-evolution
#4
John J Shea
Archeologists have long assumed that earlier hominins were obligatory stone tool users. This assumption is deeply embedded in traditional ways of describing the lithic record. This paper argues that lithic evidence dating before 1.7 Ma reflects occasional stone tool use, much like that practiced by nonhuman primates except that it involved flaked-stone cutting tools. Evidence younger than 0.3 Ma is more congruent with obligatory stone tool use, like that among recent humans. The onset of habitual stone tool use at about 1...
September 2017: Evolutionary Anthropology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29026532/origins-and-pathogenesis-of-middle-east-respiratory-syndrome-associated-coronavirus-recent-advances
#5
REVIEW
Stephen A Goldstein, Susan R Weiss
Middle East respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been a significant research focus since its discovery in 2012. Since 2012, 2,040 cases and 712 deaths have been recorded (as of August 11, 2017), representing a strikingly high case fatality rate of 36%. Over the last several years, MERS-CoV research has progressed in several parallel and complementary directions. This review will focus on three particular areas: the origins and evolution of MERS-CoV, the challenges and achievements in the development of MERS-CoV animal models, and our understanding of how novel proteins unique to MERS-CoV counter the host immune response...
2017: F1000Research
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29026075/evidence-of-a-chimpanzee-sized-ancestor-of-humans-but-a-gibbon-sized-ancestor-of-apes
#6
Mark Grabowski, William L Jungers
Body mass directly affects how an animal relates to its environment and has a wide range of biological implications. However, little is known about the mass of the last common ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees, hominids (great apes and humans), or hominoids (all apes and humans), which is needed to evaluate numerous paleobiological hypotheses at and prior to the root of our lineage. Here we use phylogenetic comparative methods and data from primates including humans, fossil hominins, and a wide sample of fossil primates including Miocene apes from Africa, Europe, and Asia to test alternative hypotheses of body mass evolution...
October 12, 2017: Nature Communications
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29023639/an-anatomical-and-mechanical-analysis-of-the-douc-monkey-genus-pygathrix-and-its-role-in-understanding-the-evolution-of-brachiation
#7
C D Byron, M C Granatosky, H H Covert
OBJECTIVES: Pygathrix is an understudied Asian colobine unusual among the Old World monkeys for its use of arm-swinging. Little data exists on the anatomy and mechanics of brachiation in this genus. Here, we consider this colobine to gain insight into the parallel evolution of suspensory behavior in primates. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study compares axial and appendicular morphological variables of Pygathrix with other Asian colobines. Additionally, to assess the functional consequences of Pygathrix limb anatomy, kinematic and kinetic data during arm-swinging are included to compare the douc monkey to other suspensory primates (Ateles and Hylobates)...
October 11, 2017: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29022726/common-marmoset-callithrix-jacchus-personality
#8
Sonja E Koski, Hannah M Buchanan-Smith, Hayley Ash, Judith M Burkart, Thomas Bugnyar, Alexander Weiss
Increasing evidence suggests that personality structure differs between species, but the evolutionary reasons for this variation are not fully understood. We built on earlier research on New World monkeys to further elucidate the evolution of personality structure in primates. We therefore examined personality in 100 family-reared adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) from 3 colonies on a 60-item questionnaire. Principal components analyses revealed 5 domains that were largely similar to those found in a previous study on captive, ex-pet, or formerly laboratory-housed marmosets that were housed in a sanctuary...
October 12, 2017: Journal of Comparative Psychology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28979799/network-analysis-of-the-hominin-origin-of-herpes-simplex-virus-2-from-fossil-data
#9
Simon J Underdown, Krishna Kumar, Charlotte Houldcroft
Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2) is a human herpesvirus found worldwide that causes genital lesions and more rarely causes encephalitis. This pathogen is most common in Africa, and particularly in central and east Africa, an area of particular significance for the evolution of modern humans. Unlike HSV1, HSV2 has not simply co-speciated with humans from their last common ancestor with primates. HSV2 jumped the species barrier between 1.4 and 3 MYA, most likely through intermediate but unknown hominin species. In this article, we use probability-based network analysis to determine the most probable transmission path between intermediate hosts of HSV2, from the ancestors of chimpanzees to the ancestors of modern humans, using paleo-environmental data on the distribution of African tropical rainforest over the last 3 million years and data on the age and distribution of fossil species of hominin present in Africa between 1...
July 2017: Virus Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28977405/genome-scale-detection-of-positive-selection-in-nine-primates-predicts-human-virus-evolutionary-conflicts
#10
Robin van der Lee, Laurens Wiel, Teunis J P van Dam, Martijn A Huynen
Hotspots of rapid genome evolution hold clues about human adaptation. We present a comparative analysis of nine whole-genome sequenced primates to identify high-confidence targets of positive selection. We find strong statistical evidence for positive selection in 331 protein-coding genes (3%), pinpointing 934 adaptively evolving codons (0.014%). Our new procedure is stringent and reveals substantial artefacts (20% of initial predictions) that have inflated previous estimates. The final 331 positively selected genes (PSG) are strongly enriched for innate and adaptive immunity, secreted and cell membrane proteins (e...
August 11, 2017: Nucleic Acids Research
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28973893/on-the-origin-of-biological-construction-with-a-focus-on-multicellularity
#11
Jordi van Gestel, Corina E Tarnita
Biology is marked by a hierarchical organization: all life consists of cells; in some cases, these cells assemble into groups, such as endosymbionts or multicellular organisms; in turn, multicellular organisms sometimes assemble into yet other groups, such as primate societies or ant colonies. The construction of new organizational layers results from hierarchical evolutionary transitions, in which biological units (e.g., cells) form groups that evolve into new units of biological organization (e.g., multicellular organisms)...
September 29, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28963599/adaptation-of-the-aesop-s-fable-paradigm-for-use-with-raccoons-procyon-lotor-considerations-for-future-application-in-non-avian-and-non-primate-species
#12
Lauren Stanton, Emily Davis, Shylo Johnson, Amy Gilbert, Sarah Benson-Amram
To gain a better understanding of the evolution of animal cognition, it is necessary to test and compare the cognitive abilities of a broad array of taxa. Meaningful inter-species comparisons are best achieved by employing universal paradigms that standardize testing among species. Many cognitive paradigms, however, have been tested in only a few taxa, mostly birds and primates. One such example, known as the Aesop's Fable paradigm, is designed to assess causal understanding in animals using water displacement...
November 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28958417/selective-attention-without-a-neocortex
#13
Richard J Krauzlis, Amarender R Bogadhi, James P Herman, Anil Bollimunta
Selective attention refers to the ability to restrict neural processing and behavioral responses to a relevant subset of available stimuli, while simultaneously excluding other valid stimuli from consideration. In primates and other mammals, descriptions of this ability typically emphasize the neural processing that takes place in the cerebral neocortex. However, non-mammals such as birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, which completely lack a neocortex, also have the ability to selectively attend. In this article, we survey the behavioral evidence for selective attention in non-mammals, and review the midbrain and forebrain structures that are responsible...
September 1, 2017: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28957512/isoform-evolution-in-primates-through-independent-combination-of-alternative-rna-processing-events
#14
Shi-Jian Zhang, Chenqu Wang, Shouyu Yan, Aisi Fu, Xuke Luan, Yumei Li, Qing Sunny Shen, Xiaoming Zhong, Jia-Yu Chen, Xiangfeng Wang, Bertrand Chin-Ming Tan, Aibin He, Chuan-Yun Li
Recent RNA-seq technology revealed thousands of splicing events that are under rapid evolution in primates, whereas the reliability of these events, as well as their combination on the isoform level, have not been adequately addressed due to its limited sequencing length. Here, we performed comparative transcriptome analyses in human and rhesus macaque cerebellum using single molecule long-read sequencing (Iso-seq) and matched RNA-seq. Besides 359 million RNA-seq reads, 4,165,527 Iso-seq reads were generated with a mean length of 14,875 bp, covering 11,466 human genes, and 10,159 macaque genes...
October 1, 2017: Molecular Biology and Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28957509/archaic-hominin-introgression-in-africa-contributes-to-functional-salivary-muc7-genetic-variation
#15
Duo Xu, Pavlos Pavlidis, Recep Ozgur Taskent, Nikolaos Alachiotis, Colin Flanagan, Michael DeGiorgio, Ran Blekhman, Stefan Ruhl, Omer Gokcumen
One of the most abundant proteins in human saliva, mucin-7, is encoded by the MUC7 gene, which harbors copy number variable subexonic repeats (PTS-repeats) that affect the size and glycosylation potential of this protein. We recently documented the adaptive evolution of MUC7 subexonic copy number variation among primates. Yet, the evolution of MUC7 genetic variation in humans remained unexplored. Here, we found that PTS-repeat copy number variation has evolved recurrently in the human lineage, thereby generating multiple haplotypic backgrounds carrying five or six PTS-repeat copy number alleles...
October 1, 2017: Molecular Biology and Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28957461/evolution-of-alu-subfamily-structure-in-the-saimiri-lineage-of-new-world-monkeys
#16
Jasmine N Baker, Jerilyn A Walker, John A Vanchiere, Kacie R Phillippe, Corey P St Romain, Paulina Gonzalez-Quiroga, Michael W Denham, Jackson R Mierl, Miriam K Konkel, Mark A Batzer
Squirrel monkeys, Saimiri, are commonly found in zoological parks and used in biomedical research. S. boliviensis is the most common species for research; however, there is little information about genome evolution within this primate lineage. Here, we reconstruct the Alu element sequence amplification and evolution in the genus Saimiri at the time of divergence within the family Cebidae lineage. Alu elements are the most successful SINE (Short Interspersed Element) in primates. Here, we report 46 Saimiri lineage specific Alu subfamilies...
September 1, 2017: Genome Biology and Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28954911/male-cooperation-for-breeding-opportunities-contributes-to-the-evolution-of-multilevel-societies
#17
Xiao-Guang Qi, Kang Huang, Gu Fang, Cyril C Grueter, Derek W Dunn, Yu-Li Li, Weihong Ji, Xiao-Yan Wang, Rong-Tao Wang, Paul A Garber, Bao-Guo Li
A small number of primate species including snub-nosed monkeys (colobines), geladas (papionins) and humans live in multilevel societies (MLSs), in which multiple one-male polygamous units (OMUs) coexist to form a band, and non-breeding males associate in bachelor groups. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate that the papionin MLS appears to have evolved through internal fissioning of large mixed-sex groups, whereas the colobine MLS evolved through the aggregation of small, isolated OMUs. However, how agonistic males maintain tolerance under intensive competition over limited breeding opportunities remains unclear...
September 27, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28951610/managing-competing-goals-a-key-role-for-the-frontopolar-cortex
#18
REVIEW
Farshad Alizadeh Mansouri, Etienne Koechlin, Marcello G P Rosa, Mark J Buckley
Humans are set apart from other animals by many elements of advanced cognition and behaviour, including language, judgement and reasoning. What is special about the human brain that gives rise to these abilities? Could the foremost part of the prefrontal cortex (the frontopolar cortex), which has become considerably enlarged in humans during evolution compared with other animals, be important in this regard, especially as, in primates, it contains a unique cytoarchitectural field, area 10? The first studies of the function of the frontopolar cortex in monkeys have now provided critical new insights about its precise role in monitoring the significance of current and alternative goals...
November 2017: Nature Reviews. Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28949015/the-development-of-feeding-behavior-in-wild-chimpanzees-pan-troglodytes-schweinfurthii
#19
Joel Bray, Melissa Emery Thompson, Martin N Muller, Richard W Wrangham, Zarin P Machanda
OBJECTIVES: Primates have an extended period of juvenility before adulthood. Although dietary complexity plays a prominent role in hypotheses regarding the evolution of extended juvenility, the development of feeding behavior is still poorly understood. Indeed, few studies have investigated the timing and nature of feeding transitions in apes, including chimpanzees. We describe general patterns of feeding development in wild chimpanzees and evaluate predictions of the needing-to-learn hypothesis...
September 26, 2017: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28947156/bidding-evidence-for-primate-vocal-learning-and-the-cultural-substrates-for-speech-evolution
#20
REVIEW
Adriano R Lameira
Speech evolution seems to defy scientific explanation. Progress on this front has been jammed in an entrenched orthodoxy about what great apes can and (mostly) cannot do vocally, an idea epitomized by the Kuypers/Jürgens hypothesis. Findings by great ape researchers paint, however, starkly different and more optimistic landscapes for speech evolution. Over twenty studies qualify as positive evidence for primate vocal (production) learning following accepted terminology. Additionally, the Kuypers/Jürgens hypothesis shows low etymological, empirical, and theoretical soundness...
September 22, 2017: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
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