Pheromone-controlled thermodynamics and cancer

“If you learnt evolutionary biology and genetics a decade or more ago you need to be aware that those debates have moved on very considerably, as has the experimental and field work on which they are based.” — Denis Noble Can thermodynamics help us better understand human cancers? Excerpt: “In a new study, UCLA researchers analyzed the gene-expression profiles of more than 2,000 patients and were able to identify cancer-specific gene signatures for breast, lung, prostate and ovarian cancers. The…

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Mirror neurons and microRNA: theory vs biological facts

Mirror neurons through the lens of epigenetics to be published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences Volume 17, Issue 9, September 2013, Pages 450–457. epub on 14 August 2013 Abstract excerpt: … we propose a new evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) perspective, which predicts that environmental differences early in development should produce variations in mirror neuron response patterns, tuning them to the social environment. See Figure 1: Excerpt: “…the early social experience produces modifications in gene expression through epigenetic marks, such as…

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Evolution: innovations may have non-adaptive origins (sans mutations)

Q & A: Evolution Makes Do By Chris Palmer Evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner argues that many evolutionary innovations may have non-adaptive origins. Excerpt: “If exaptations are pervasive, then natural selection—which few doubt is critical for the preservation and spreading of traits—may not be that important for the origin of innovations in life’s history.” See also: Rapid detection of positive selection in genes and genomes through variation clusters Excerpt: “They occur in well-defined domains of a protein’s tertiary structure and show…

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A thought experiment

I may be confused about proximate and ultimate cause, especially if the role of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance is not central to the extended evolutionary synthesis. Isn’t transgenerational epigenetic inheritance the problem that led Dickins and Rahman to suggest a thought experiment; one where epigenetic mechanisms introduce shifts in learning bias for certain associations as would endocrine functioning? If so, my model (Kohl, 2012), which combines the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones with biased endocrine functioning and adaptive evolution,…

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