Science journalists or paid propagandists?

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: January 8, 2017

2016 Orchids give off human ‘body odor’ to attract mosquitoes
See also:

Were humans present in the orchid’s habitat long enough and often enough for this coevolution to take place? More likely, other animals emit the same body odors as humans. There should be a mention of this.

See also: SICB Annual Meeting 2017
The 2017 SICB conference report by Pennisi may be pending. Hopefully, a 2017 conference report from at least one ethical science journalist will mention this presentation and place it into the context of Pennisi’s 2015 and 2016 conference reports.
See: Differential Expression of Putative Pheromone-detecting Cells and Receptors in the Olfactory Epithelium of an African Cichlid Fish

Across taxa, chemical signals convey crucial information, such as fitness, social status, and reproductive state. It is well established that several fish species use chemosensory signaling during reproduction, with individuals possessing mechanisms to detect sexually-relevant olfactory signals at a reproductive advantage. In fishes, odorants are detected by one of three main olfactory receptor neuron (ORN) types located in the olfactory epithelium. Crypt cells, an ORN unique to fishes, is hypothesized to function in pheromone detection, and one family of recently described receptors known as vomeronasal-like type 1 receptors, or V1Rs, are hypothesized to bind these sexually-relevant compounds. Here, we tested whether social status and/or reproductive state might influence crypt cell and V1R expression in the olfactory epithelium of highly social African cichlid, Astatotilapia burtoni. Males exist as either dominant (reproductively active) or subordinate (reproductively suppressed), and females cycle between gravid (reproductively receptive) and mouthbrooding parental care states. Using the crypt cell marker s100, we found that gravid, ready to spawn females had more crypt cells in their olfactory epithelium compared to reproductively suppressed brooding females. Similarly, in situ hybridization for one of the six V1Rs in fishes, V1R4, revealed different levels of expression in animals of different reproductive and social status. Since reproduction can be considered the most important event in any animal’s life, gaining insight into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate the detection of sexually relevant stimuli is important in understanding how reproduction is coordinated.

Here is how reproduction is coordinated in species form microbes to humans.

Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling with reproduction

The feedback loops link sunlight to energy-dependent changes in chirality and autophagy via the receptor-mediated cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate the detection of relevant stimuli. If you do not think that explains how top-down causation is linked to all energy-dependent biodiversity, it is probably because you want to pretend that you don’t know it does.
Karen Maruska stopped pretending she did not know how to explain the diversity of sticklebacks when she left Russel Fernald’s group, and set up her lab (circa 2012, which was the last time I had the pleasure of speaking with her and some of her friends).
Pennisi and other journals have helped to stop the refutations of neo-Darwinian nonsense by reporting bits and pieces of what serious scientists know about all energy-dependent cell type differentiation in all living genera.
Background: 2015 All in the (bigger) family
Excerpt from Pennisi (2015)

Last week, at a special symposium of the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) here, Harrison and many others reported new parallels between these two very successful groups of animals and new insights about what it took for an ancient aquatic crustacean to give rise to insects, which have thrived on land. Insects and crustaceans “are the most divergent organisms on the Earth, and as biologists we’d really like to understand how that came to be,” says Jonathon Stillman, a marine environmental physiologist at San Francisco State University’s environmental research center in Tiburon.

“It’s not unanimous that crustaceans and insects have won the day, but it’s now the more strongly supported point of view,” says Greg Edgecombe, a systematist at the Natural History Museum in London.

The old view of insect evolution may explain why paleontologists have had so much trouble identifying the ancestral insect: They were looking for something that had insectlike and millipedelike traits, rather than a crustacean. “We’ve been looking from the wrong perspective,” says Thorsten Burmester, a comparative physiologist at the University of Hamburg in Germany.

My comment: published at 2:54 pm on 1/29/15

The 2015 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) presenters may not recognize how much progress has been made since the 2013 ecological epigenetics symposium. For example, since then authors claimed “…ctenophore neural systems, and possibly muscle specification, evolved independently from those in other animals.”

Six months later, other authors traced signaling factors found in vertebrates to the origin of nerve cell centralization via the diffuse nerve net of animals like the sea anemone. That fact suggests ecological variation is linked to ecological adaptations in morphological and behavioral phenotypes via signaling protein concentrations that differentiate various cell types in body axes and the central nervous system.

Links across species from the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in organized genomes appear to have their origins in the conserved molecular mechanisms of RNA-directed DNA methylation and RNA-mediated protein folding. Two weeks after the publication that refuted ideas about independently evolved neural systems or muscle specification — and perhaps refuted the independent evolution of anything else, SICB presenters linked crustaceans to insects.

Apparently, they’ve learned that the same set of microRNAs controls expression of the genes for rate-limiting enzymes that control the hormone production of different hormones in insects and crustaceans.

Why were they left with any questions about how crustaceans and insects could all be part of one big family? They linked RNA-mediated cell type differentiation to what we described in our section on molecular epigenetics in our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review. From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior

See: A recurrent regulatory change underlying altered expression and Wnt response of the stickleback armor plates gene EDA
Excerpt from the journal article:

Identical amino acid substitutions in particular genes also underlie several examples of repeated evolution including insecticide resistance in insects (GABA), tetrodotoxin resistance in snakes (NaK-ATPase), C4 photosynthesis in plants (PEPC), and dark pigmentation in mice and birds (MC1R) (Stern 2013).

Differences in energy-dependent RNA-mediated amino acid substitution underlie every example of how ecological variation has been linked to ecological adaptation in all living genera since 1973, when Dobzhansky published: Nothing in Biology Makes Any Sense Except in the Light of Evolution

Cytochrome C is an enzyme that plays an important role in the metabolism of aerobic cells. It is found in the most diverse organisms, from man to molds. E. Margoliash, W. M. Fitch, and others have compared the amino acid sequences in cytochrome C in different branches of the living world. Most significant similarities as well as differences have been brought to light. The cytochrome C of different orders of mammals and birds differ in 2 to 17 amino acids, classes of vertebrates in 7 to 38, and vertebrates and insects in 23 to 41; and animals differ from yeasts and molds in 56 to 72 amino acids. Fitch and Margoliash prefer to express their findings in what are called “minimal mutational distances.” It has been mentioned above that different amino acids are coded by different triplets of nucleotides in DNA of the genes; this code is now known.

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