Randomized strategies versus evolutionary branching
This new study, which will appear in the June 2005 issue of The American Naturalist, asserts that an individual could use his/her genotype as an informative cue when "deciding" which phenotype to develop. This is a new way of looking at certain kinds of genetic polymorphism. Some species have alternative phenotypes, which are different categories of adult individuals specialized for particular circumstances. For instance, if predation risk is high in some local environments and low in others, one category might have a predation resistant phenotype, with protective devices like spines, whereas the other category lacks these devices and is instead more efficient at producing offspring. If a developing individual can, statistically, predict the predation risk, it would be advantageous to develop the phenotype that fits the prediction. With spatial variation in predation risk, genetic determination of phenotypic alternatives can function as this kind of advantageous prediction, since natural selection will make genes for the protected type more common in local environments with high predation risk and less common in those with low risk.
Conceptually, this is the same as using some purely environmental cue signaling the presence of predators to infer the risk of predation. The evolutionary theory developed in this study suggests when genetic variation can function as an informative cue in this manner.
Carrie Olivia Adams | EurekAlert!
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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