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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Not Just A Theory--The Utility Of Mathematical Models In Evolutionary Biology, Maria R. Servedio, Yaniv Brandvain, Sumit Dhole, Courtney L. Fitzpatrick, Emma E. Goldberg, Caitlin A. Stern, Jeremy Van Cleve, D. Justin Yeh Dec 2014

Not Just A Theory--The Utility Of Mathematical Models In Evolutionary Biology, Maria R. Servedio, Yaniv Brandvain, Sumit Dhole, Courtney L. Fitzpatrick, Emma E. Goldberg, Caitlin A. Stern, Jeremy Van Cleve, D. Justin Yeh

Biology Faculty Publications

Progress in science often begins with verbal hypotheses meant to explain why certain biological phenomena exist. An important purpose of mathematical models in evolutionary research, as in many other fields, is to act as “proof-of-concept” tests of the logic in verbal explanations, paralleling the way in which empirical data are used to test hypotheses. Because not all subfields of biology use mathematics for this purpose, misunderstandings of the function of proof-of-concept modeling are common. In the hope of facilitating communication, we discuss the role of proof-of-concept modeling in evolutionary biology.


Seed Dormancy, Seedling Establishment And Dynamics Of The Soil Seed Bank Of Stipa Bungeana (Poaceae) On The Loess Plateau Of Northwestern China, Xiao Wen Hu, Yan Pei Wu, Xing Yu Ding, Rui Zhang, Yan Rong Wang, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin Nov 2014

Seed Dormancy, Seedling Establishment And Dynamics Of The Soil Seed Bank Of Stipa Bungeana (Poaceae) On The Loess Plateau Of Northwestern China, Xiao Wen Hu, Yan Pei Wu, Xing Yu Ding, Rui Zhang, Yan Rong Wang, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin

Biology Faculty Publications

Studying seed dormancy and its consequent effect can provide important information for vegetation restoration and management. The present study investigated seed dormancy, seedling emergence and seed survival in the soil seed bank of Stipa bungeana, a grass species used in restoration of degraded land on the Loess Plateau in northwest China. Dormancy of fresh seeds was determined by incubation of seeds over a range of temperatures in both light and dark. Seed germination was evaluated after mechanical removal of palea and lemma (hulls), chemical scarification and dry storage. Fresh and one-year-stored seeds were sown in the field, and seedling emergence ...


Lights And Larvae: Using Optogenetics To Teach Recombinant Dna And Neurobiology, John Titlow, Heidi Anderson, Robin L. Cooper Sep 2014

Lights And Larvae: Using Optogenetics To Teach Recombinant Dna And Neurobiology, John Titlow, Heidi Anderson, Robin L. Cooper

Biology Faculty Publications

Switching genes between organisms and controlling an animal’s brain using lasers may seem like science fiction, but with advancements in a technique called optogenetics, such experiments are now common in neuroscience research. Optogenetics combines recombinant DNA technology with a controlled light source to help researchers address biomedical questions in the life sciences. The technique has gained the most traction in neurobiology—the biology of the nervous system—where specific wavelengths of light are used to control or measure the activity of neurons in transgenic organisms (i.e., those with artificially inserted genes).

These optical recording and stimulation techniques are ...


Germination Season And Watering Regime, But Not Seed Morph, Affect Life History Traits In A Cold Desert Diaspore-Heteromorphic Annual, Juan J. Lu, Dun Y. Tan, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin Jul 2014

Germination Season And Watering Regime, But Not Seed Morph, Affect Life History Traits In A Cold Desert Diaspore-Heteromorphic Annual, Juan J. Lu, Dun Y. Tan, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin

Biology Faculty Publications

Seed morph, abiotic conditions and time of germination can affect plant fitness, but few studies have tested their combined effects on plasticity of plant life history traits. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that seed morph, germination season and watering regime influence phenotypic expression of post-germination life history traits in the diaspore-heteromorphic cold desert winter annual/spring ephemeral Diptychocarpus strictus. The two seed morphs were sown in watered and non-watered plots in late summer, and plants derived from them were watered or not-watered throughout the study. Seed morph did not affect phenology, growth and morphology, survival, dry mass accumulation and allocation ...


Sox11 Is Required To Maintain Proper Levels Of Hedgehog Signaling During Vertebrate Ocular Morphogenesis, Lakshmi Pillai-Kastoori, Wen Wen, Stephen G. Wilson, Erin Strachan, Adriana Lo-Castro, Marco Fichera, Sebastiano A. Musumeci, Ordan J. Lehmann, Ann C. Morris Jul 2014

Sox11 Is Required To Maintain Proper Levels Of Hedgehog Signaling During Vertebrate Ocular Morphogenesis, Lakshmi Pillai-Kastoori, Wen Wen, Stephen G. Wilson, Erin Strachan, Adriana Lo-Castro, Marco Fichera, Sebastiano A. Musumeci, Ordan J. Lehmann, Ann C. Morris

Biology Faculty Publications

Ocular coloboma is a sight-threatening malformation caused by failure of the choroid fissure to close during morphogenesis of the eye, and is frequently associated with additional anomalies, including microphthalmia and cataracts. Although Hedgehog signaling is known to play a critical role in choroid fissure closure, genetic regulation of this pathway remains poorly understood. Here, we show that the transcription factor Sox11 is required to maintain specific levels of Hedgehog signaling during ocular development. Sox11-deficient zebrafish embryos displayed delayed and abnormal lens formation, coloboma, and a specific reduction in rod photoreceptors, all of which could be rescued by treatment with the ...


Probability Of Regenerating A Normal Limb After Bite Injury In The Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum), Sierra Thompson, Laura Muzinic, Christopher Muzinic, Matthew L. Niemiller, S. Randal Voss Jun 2014

Probability Of Regenerating A Normal Limb After Bite Injury In The Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum), Sierra Thompson, Laura Muzinic, Christopher Muzinic, Matthew L. Niemiller, S. Randal Voss

Biology Faculty Publications

Multiple factors are thought to cause limb abnormalities in amphibian populations by altering processes of limb development and regeneration. We examined adult and juvenile axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) in the Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center (AGSC) for limb and digit abnormalities to investigate the probability of normal regeneration after bite injury. We observed that 80% of larval salamanders show evidence of bite injury at the time of transition from group housing to solitary housing. Among 717 adult axolotls that were surveyed, which included solitary-housed males and group-housed females, approximately half presented abnormalities, including examples of extra or missing digits and limbs, fused ...


Novel Telomere-Anchored Pcr Approach For Studying Sexual Stage Telomeres In Aspergillus Nidulans, Nengding Wang, Saajidha Rizvydeen, Mithaq Vahedi, Daysi M. Vargas Gonzalez, Amanda L. Allred, Dustin Wayne Perry, Peter M. Mirabito, Karen E. Kirk May 2014

Novel Telomere-Anchored Pcr Approach For Studying Sexual Stage Telomeres In Aspergillus Nidulans, Nengding Wang, Saajidha Rizvydeen, Mithaq Vahedi, Daysi M. Vargas Gonzalez, Amanda L. Allred, Dustin Wayne Perry, Peter M. Mirabito, Karen E. Kirk

Biology Faculty Publications

Telomere length varies between germline and somatic cells of the same organism, leading to the hypothesis that telomeres are lengthened during meiosis. However, little is known about the meiotic telomere length in many organisms. In the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, the telomere lengths in hyphae and asexual spores are invariant. No study using existing techniques has determined the telomere length of the sexual ascospores due to the relatively low abundance of pure meiotic cells in A. nidulans and the small quantity of DNA present. To address this, we developed a simple and sensitive PCR strategy to measure the telomere length ...


Characterization Of In Vitro Transcriptional Responses Of Dorsal Root Ganglia Cultured In The Presence And Absence Of Blastema Cells From Regenerating Salamander Limbs, Antony Athippozhy, Jeffrey Lehrberg, James R. Monaghan, David M. Gardiner, S. Randal Voss Apr 2014

Characterization Of In Vitro Transcriptional Responses Of Dorsal Root Ganglia Cultured In The Presence And Absence Of Blastema Cells From Regenerating Salamander Limbs, Antony Athippozhy, Jeffrey Lehrberg, James R. Monaghan, David M. Gardiner, S. Randal Voss

Biology Faculty Publications

During salamander limb regeneration, nerves provide signals that induce the formation of a mass of proliferative cells called the blastema. To better understand these signals, we developed a blastema-dorsal root ganglia (DRG) co-culture model system to test the hypothesis that nerves differentially express genes in response to cues provided by the blastema. DRG with proximal and distal nerve trunks were isolated from axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum), cultured for five days, and subjected to microarray analysis. Relative to freshly isolated DRG, 1,541 Affymetrix probe sets were identified as differentially expressed and many of the predicted genes are known to function in ...


What Kind Of Seed Dormancy Might Palms Have?, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin Mar 2014

What Kind Of Seed Dormancy Might Palms Have?, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin

Biology Faculty Publications

Palm diaspores are reported to have various kinds of dormancy. However, (1) the embryo is underdeveloped; (2) the endocarp is water permeable; and (3) the diaspores take a long time to germinate. Thus, we conclude that the diaspores of the majority of palm species have morphophysiological dormancy (MPD). The ones that do not have MPD are morphologically dormant.


Diffuse Brain Injury Induces Acute Post-Traumatic Sleep, Rachel K. Rowe, Martin Striz, Adam D. Bachstetter, Linda J. Van Eldik, Kevin D. Donohue, Bruce F. O'Hara, Jonathan Lifshitz Jan 2014

Diffuse Brain Injury Induces Acute Post-Traumatic Sleep, Rachel K. Rowe, Martin Striz, Adam D. Bachstetter, Linda J. Van Eldik, Kevin D. Donohue, Bruce F. O'Hara, Jonathan Lifshitz

Biology Faculty Publications

Objective

Clinical observations report excessive sleepiness immediately following traumatic brain injury (TBI); however, there is a lack of experimental evidence to support or refute the benefit of sleep following a brain injury. The aim of this study is to investigate acute post-traumatic sleep.

Methods

Sham, mild or moderate diffuse TBI was induced by midline fluid percussion injury (mFPI) in male C57BL/6J mice at 9:00 or 21:00 to evaluate injury-induced sleep behavior at sleep and wake onset, respectively. Sleep profiles were measured post-injury using a non-invasive, piezoelectric cage system. In separate cohorts of mice, inflammatory cytokines in the ...