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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 61 through 75 of 131 found.


Earth Life Emergence: Development of Body, Brain, Selves and Societies

Earth Life > Nest > Life Origin

Bartlett, Stuart and Patrick Beckett. Probing Complexity: Thermodynamics and Computational Mechanics Approaches to Origins Studies. Interface Focus. October, 2019. University of Illinois and NASA Astrobiology Institute biophysicists contend that a prior emphasis on biomolecules and/or metabolism will not fully explain and that a further dimension of innate mathematical and geometric programs at work is needed. The paper courses across the titles domains, along with statistical physics and especially a regnant informational quality. Altogether in this way life’s emergent development gains an open-ended futurity. Akin to other efforts in this section, B & B’s course leads them to view the whole universe to human course as primarily a relative knowledge-gaining process. Prebiological settings can then be seen engaged in a “chemical associative learning” endeavor. Once again, as Ghosh and Kiparsky cite in Systems Chemistry, the grand scenario becomes textual in nature, seemingly made and meant for we peoples to read and write anew.

Earth Life > Nest > Life Origin

Benner, Steven, et al. When did Life Likely Emerge on Earth in an RNA-First Process?. arXiv:1908.11327. A ten person team from the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, Florida (SB), UCLA, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, University of Colorado, University of South Florida and University of Rochester prepare a plausible scenario via recreations of an original biochemical and nucleotide milieu under Hadean geological to atmospheric environs some 4.6 to 4.0 billion years ago. Graphic visualizations illustrate our incredible global capability as the universe’s way of converting itself into consciously perceived description.

The widespread presence of ribonucleic acid catalysts and cofactors in Earth's biosphere today suggests that RNA was the first biopolymer to support Darwinian evolution. However, most "path-hypotheses" to generate RNA precursors require reduced nitrogen-containing compounds not made in useful amounts in the CO2-N2-H2O atmospheres of the Hadean. We review models for Earth's impact history that invoke a ~10^23 kg meteor to account for measured amounts of platinum, gold, and other siderophilic elements on the Earth and Moon. A sterilizing impactor would have reduced the atmosphere but not its mantle, opening a "window of opportunity" for RNA synthesis, a period with surface oxidized minerals that stabilize advanced RNA precursors and RNA. Surprisingly, this combination of physics, geology, and chemistry suggests a time when RNA formation was most probable, ~120 +/- 100 million years after a meteor, or ~4.36 +/- 0.1 billion years ago. (Abstract edits)

Earth Life > Nest > Microbial

Bublitz, DeAnna, et al. Peptidoglycan Production by an Insect-Bacterial Mosaic. Cell. 179/1, 2019. We cite this entry by eleven Caltech, University of Montana, and University of Sheffield, UK scientists including John McCutcheon for its recognition of how much endosymbiotic structures and processes are in primary effect. A notice Cell Bacteria Mergers Offer Clues to How Organelles Evolved by Vivane Callier in Quanta Magazine (October 3, 2019) cites an import of this work.

Earth Life > Nest > Microbial

Pichards, Thomas, et al. Single Cell Ecology. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 374/2019.0076, 2019. An introduction to a special issue of papers from a December 2018 two day meeting as multicellular, mammalian human beings collectively proceed to confer, quantify and reconstruct about how early life came to arise from prokaryote bacteria and eukaryote nucleates. We note Multicellular Behavior Enables Cooperation in Microbial Cell Aggregates by Ali Ebrahimi, et al, A Single-Cell Genome Perspective on Intracellular Associations in Eukaryotes by Tomas Tyml, et al, and Combining Morphology, Behavior and Genomics to Understand the Evolution and Ecology of Microbes.

This Single Cell Ecology interdisciplinary meeting will explore the use of single cell technologies to understand the function, diversity and interactions of microbes. By bringing together physicists who manipulate cells, microbiologists who seek to understand the nature of microbial communities and genomicists who are developing new approaches to study individual cells we will achieve a greater understanding of the potential of this new field. (Original 2018 abstract)

Earth Life > Nest > Symbiotic

Gilbert, Scott. Evolutionary Transitions Revisited: Holobiont Evo-Devo. Journal of Experimental Zoology B. Online September 29, 2019. The Swarthmore College biologist and author contributes to this John Bonner issue, which altogether supports an inherent structural view of life’s oriented emergence from physical sources all the way to curious peoples. Gilbert is a prime advocate of this integrative realization that organisms and selves are actually communal entities by way of myriad microbes. See also Suarez & Trivino herein for a recent endorsement.

The Swarthmore College biologist and author contributes to this John Bonner issue, which altogether supports an inherent structural view of life’s oriented emergence from physical sources all the way to curious peoples. Gilbert is a prime advocate of this integrative realization that organisms and selves are actually communal entities by way of myriad microbes. See also Suarez & Trivino herein for a recent endorsement.

Earth Life > Nest > Symbiotic

Lloyd, Elisabeth and Michael Wade. Criteria for Holobionts from Community Genetics. Biological Theory. 14/3, 2019. We note this entry by a veteran Indiana University philosopher and biologist as a thorough, evenhanded review of this increasingly popular symbiotic concept of organisms from critters to sapiens. After some clarifications and caveats, by a proper understanding of life’s levels of selection, the holobiont model is a viable model of internal and external mutualisms.

Earth Life > Nest > Symbiotic

Suarez, Javier and Vanessa Trivino. A Metaphysical Approach to Holobiont Individuality. Quaderns de Filosofia. 6/1, 2019. In this journal of the Societat de Filosofia del País Valencià, this entry by University of Barcelona and University of Murcia philosophers opens with Life on Earth does not walk alone. It is becoming evident nowadays that individuals do not exist in isolation apart from each other and their ecological region. Rather everyone’s internal, and external milieu and identity are actually a symbiotic, interactive unity between me and We, small and large, so as to compose a viable US. In regard a tripartite universal, iconome principle is thus being revealed.

Holobionts are symbiotic assemblages composed by a host plus its microbiome. The status of holobionts as individuals has recently been a subject of continuous controversy, which has given rise to two main positions: on the one hand, holobiont advocates argue that holobionts are biological individuals; on the other, detractors argue that they are just chimeras or ecological communities. Both parties argue over what it takes for a “conglomerate” to be an individual from a biological point of view. This paper presents a meta-physical approach which draws on a conception of natural selection that supports the thesis that holobionts are units of selection which bear emergent traits and exert downward powers over the entities that compose them. In this vein, it is reasonable to conceive holobionts as emergent biological individuals. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Nest > Multicellular

Brunet, Thibaut and Nicole King. The Origin of Animal Multicellularity and Cell Differentiation. Developmental Cell. 43/2, 2017. By way of several graphic displays UC Berkeley biologists advance hyper-quantifications of life’s evolutionary to join simpler, diverse, reciprocal entities into viable, complex, holobiont organisms.

Over 600 million years ago, animals evolved from a unicellular or colonial organism whose cell(s) captured bacteria with a collar complex, a flagellum surrounded by a microvillar collar. Using principles from evolutionary cell biology, we reason that the transition to multicellularity required modification of pre-existing mechanisms for extracellular matrix synthesis and cytokinesis. We discuss two hypotheses for the origin of animal cell types: division of labor from ancient plurifunctional cells and conversion of temporally alternating phenotypes into spatially juxtaposed cell types. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Nest > Societies

Chen, Xiaowen, et al. Searching for Collective Behavior in a Small Brain. Physical Review. 99, 052418, 2019. Princeton University systems physicists including William Bialek travel to the minimum edge of life’s sensory cognizance and still find an inherent tendency form networks of beneficial coordinated action.

In large neuronal networks, it is believed that functions emerge through the collective behavior of many interconnected neurons. Recently, the development of techniques that allow recordings of calcium concentration from a large fraction of all neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans - a nematode with 302 neurons – leads us to ask if such emergence is universal, reaching down to even the smallest brains. Our various models exhibit signatures of collective behavior: the state of single cells can be predicted from the state of the rest of the network; the network, despite being sparse in a way similar to the structural connectome, distributes its response globally when locally perturbed; and the parameters that describe the real network are close to a critical surface in this family of models. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Nest > Societies

Gordon, Deborah. Measuring Collective Behavior: An Ecological Approach. Theory in Biosciences. Online September, 2019. For a special Quantifying Collectivity issue, the Stanford University bioecologist and expert ant colony student in the Arizona desert adds one more affirmation of life’s organic persistence to join into social groupings for their many benefits.

Collective behavior is ubiquitous throughout nature. Many systems from brains to ant colonies are regulated by interactions among the individual participants without central control. Interactions create feedback that produce the outcome, the behavior that we observe: Brains via neurons think and remember, ant colonies collect food or move nests, flocks of birds turn, human societies develop new forms of social organization. But the processes by which interactions produce outcomes are as diverse as the behavior itself. Just as convergent evolution has led to organs, such as the eye, that are similar in function but based on different physiological processes, so it has led to forms of collective behavior that appear similar but arise from different social processes. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Nest > Societies

Ling, Hangjian, et al. Costs and Benefits of Social Relationships in the Collective Motion of Bird Flocks. Nature Ecology & Evolution. 3/948, 2019. A six person team from Stanford University, University of Exeter and Simon Fraser University including Nicholas Ouellette contend that prior models underplay local, individual interactions between semi-autonomous group members, which in reality can be a major component of successful swarm patterns.

Earth Life > Nest > Societies

Papageorgiou, Danai, et al. The Multilevel Society of a Small-Brained Bird. Current Biology. 29/21, 2019. Seven researchers mainly at MPI Animal Behavior including Iain Couzin, along with Brendah Nyaguthii at the University of Eldoret, Kenya, quantify how even ground-dwelling avians form typical complex viable groupings with many interactive members. The work merited a N, Y. Times science review Tiny Brains Don’t Stop These Birds from Having a Complex Society by Elizabeth Preston on Nov. 4, 2019. We also cite as an example of how all manner of creatures take to this similar communal form, as if due to and exemplifying an independent structural source.

Animal societies can be organized in multiple hierarchical tiers. Such multilevel societies, where stable groups move together through the landscape, associating with specific other groups, are thought to represent one of the most complex forms of social structure in vertebrates. Here, we provide detailed quantitative evidence for the presence of a multilevel society in a small-brained bird, the vulturine guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum). We demonstrate that this species lives in large, multi-male, multi-female groups. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Nest > Societies

Sosna, Matthew, et al. Individual and Collective Encoding of Risk in Animal Groups. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116/20556, 2019. A seven person group from Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Arizona State (Bryan Daniels), Humboldt University and MPI Animal Behavior (Iain Couzin) well quantify that a dynamic mutual interactivity of member creatures within their overall flock, troop, clan,, pod or herd and serves an optimum survival. Each entity is seen to possess a vital degree of autonomy and liberty rather than subservience to a communal totality. Once again, a complementary, ubuntu-like reciprocity seems to prevail across Metazoan species.

Many biological systems exhibit an emergent ability to process information about their environment. This collective cognition occurs due to the behavior of components and of their interactions, yet the relative importance of the two is often hard to disentangle. Here, we combined experiments and modeling to study how fish schools encode information about the external environment. We find that risk is mainly encoded in the physical structure of groups, which individuals modulate to augment or dampen behavioral cascades. We show that this modulation causes overall reactions to spread and allows collective systems to be responsive to their environments. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Nest > Societies

Vannier, Jean, et al. Collective Behavior in 480 Million Year Old Trilobite Arthropods from Morocco. Nature Scientific Reports. 9/14941, 2019. Into this worldwise 21st century, a nine person French, Swiss and Moroccan team reconstruct how even these early invertebrates can be found to possess a sociality which served both individual and group survival. Today however, as public strife roils France, North Africa, and far beyond, how might such ancient forebears teach and guide us altogether to live in viable, mutually caring communities?

Interactions and coordination between conspecific individuals have produced a remarkable variety of collective behaviours. This co-operation occurs in vertebrate and invertebrate animals and is well expressed in the group flight of birds, fish shoals and highly organized activities of social insects. How individuals interact to constitute group-level patterns has been studied in extant animals through functional and theoretical approaches. Here monospecific linear clusters of trilobite arthropods from the lower Ordovician are interpreted as a societal activity due to hydrodynamic cues in detected by motion and touch sensors, or from reproduction behaviour as sexually mature conspecifics migrate to spawning grounds. This study confirms that collective groupings have an ancient origin and throughout the Cambrian-Ordovician interval. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Nest > Homo Sapiens

Cepelewicz, Jordana. Fossil DNA Reveals New Twists in Modern Human Origins. Quanta Magazine. August 30, 2019. A science writer reports the latest retrospective findings and revisions as ancient genome sequencing expands its reach and depth. As the Bard would say, Oh, what a tangled species web we have woven. The work of Joshua Akey at Princeton, Adam Siepel at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, John Hawks at the University of Wisconsin, and others, with reference links, are drawn upon.

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