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Degeneracy pluripotentiality

Malcolm F Rosenthal, Matthew R Wilkins, Daizaburo Shizuka, Eileen A Hebets
Animal communication is often structurally complex and dynamic, with signaler and receiver behavior varying in response to multiple environmental factors. To date, studies assessing signal dynamics have mostly focused on the relationships between select signaling traits and receiver responses in a single environment. We use the wolf spider Schizocosa floridana to explore the relationships between courtship display form and function across two social contexts (female presence vs absence) and two light environments (light vs dark)...
February 20, 2018: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Ricky Bhajun, Laurent Guyon, Xavier Gidrol
Modularity, feedback control, functional redundancy and bowtie architecture have been proposed as key factors that confer robustness to complex biological systems. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are highly conserved but functionally dispensable. These antinomic properties suggest that miRNAs fine-tune gene expression rather than act as genetic switches. We synthesize published and unpublished data and hypothesize that miRNA pluripotentiality acts to buffer gene expression, while miRNA degeneracy tunes the expression of targets, thus providing robustness to gene expression networks...
2016: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences: CMLS
Eileen A Hebets, Andrew B Barron, Christopher N Balakrishnan, Mark E Hauber, Paul H Mason, Kim L Hoke
Why animal communication displays are so complex and how they have evolved are active foci of research with a long and rich history. Progress towards an evolutionary analysis of signal complexity, however, has been constrained by a lack of hypotheses to explain similarities and/or differences in signalling systems across taxa. To address this, we advocate incorporating a systems approach into studies of animal communication--an approach that includes comprehensive experimental designs and data collection in combination with the implementation of systems concepts and tools...
March 16, 2016: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
John Komar, Jia-Yi Chow, Didier Chollet, Ludovic Seifert
This paper investigated neurobiological degeneracy of the motor system that emerged as a function of levels of environmental constraint. Fourteen participants performed a breaststroke-swimming task that required them to develop a specific biomechanically expert pattern and in turn provide the basis for a suitable task vehicle to study the functional role of movement variability. Inter-limb coordination was defined based on the computation of continuous relative phase between elbow and knee oscillators. Unsupervised cluster analysis on arm-leg coordination revealed the existence of different patterns of coordination when participants achieved the same task goal under different levels of environmental constraints (i...
January 2015: Acta Psychologica
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