selfish-gene   28

the Iron Law of Institutions and the left – Freddie deBoer – Medium
During the Democratic presidential primary and the general election, you may have heard reference to the Iron Law of Institutions. It’s a really essential idea articulated by Jon Schwartz in a blog post that I recommend you read in full.
The Iron Law of Institutions is this: “the people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution ‘fail’ while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.”
org:med  unaffiliated  left-wing  rhetoric  metabuch  thinking  politics  polisci  stylized-facts  institutions  power  incentives  strategy  error  coalitions  cooperate-defect  selfish-gene  near-far  organizing 
june 2017 by nhaliday
Germline selection | West Hunter
Here’s what seems to be happening: you have cells in the testes that reproduce, producing one daughter cell like the parent and one that develops into a sperm cell. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. But carrying certain very specific mutations of FGFR2 or FGFR3 seem to cause occasional divisions that result in two daughter cells – so the pre-sperm cells that carry such mutations gradually become more and more common in the testes and produce a growing fraction of sperm with those mutations. It’s rather like cancer. You get clumps of cells producing the bad sperm.

Same things is happening with MEN2B (RET gene), which is also more common than it should be, although not as much so as achondroplasia.

Without this unusual mutational mechanism, there would be a shortage of dwarfs.
west-hunter  scitariat  discussion  ideas  trivia  biodet  genetics  genomics  disease  mutation  developmental  embodied  selfish-gene  sex  cooperate-defect  EGT  epidemiology  🌞 
may 2017 by nhaliday
Kin selection - Wikipedia
Formally, genes should increase in frequency when

{\displaystyle rB>C}
where

r=the genetic relatedness of the recipient to the actor, often defined as the probability that a gene picked randomly from each at the same locus is identical by descent.
B=the additional reproductive benefit gained by the recipient of the altruistic act,
C=the reproductive cost to the individual performing the act.
This inequality is known as Hamilton's rule after W. D. Hamilton who in 1964 published the first formal quantitative treatment of kin selection.

The relatedness parameter (r) in Hamilton's rule was introduced in 1922 by Sewall Wright as a coefficient of relationship that gives the probability that at a random locus, the alleles there will be identical by descent.[20] Subsequent authors, including Hamilton, sometimes reformulate this with a regression, which, unlike probabilities, can be negative. A regression analysis producing statistically significant negative relationships indicates that two individuals are less genetically alike than two random ones (Hamilton 1970, Nature & Grafen 1985 Oxford Surveys in Evolutionary Biology). This has been invoked to explain the evolution of spiteful behaviour consisting of acts that result in harm, or loss of fitness, to both the actor and the recipient.

Several scientific studies have found that the kin selection model can be applied to nature. For example, in 2010 researchers used a wild population of red squirrels in Yukon, Canada to study kin selection in nature. The researchers found that surrogate mothers would adopt related orphaned squirrel pups but not unrelated orphans. The researchers calculated the cost of adoption by measuring a decrease in the survival probability of the entire litter after increasing the litter by one pup, while benefit was measured as the increased chance of survival of the orphan. The degree of relatedness of the orphan and surrogate mother for adoption to occur depended on the number of pups the surrogate mother already had in her nest, as this affected the cost of adoption. The study showed that females always adopted orphans when rB > C, but never adopted when rB < C, providing strong support for Hamilton's rule.[21]
bio  nature  evolution  selection  group-selection  kinship  altruism  levers  methodology  population-genetics  genetics  wiki  reference  nibble  stylized-facts  biodet  🌞  concept  metrics  EGT  selfish-gene  cooperate-defect  similarity  interests  ecology 
march 2017 by nhaliday
Intrafamily and intragenomic conflicts in human warfare | Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences
We develop a mathematical model to investigate the interplay between sex-specific demography and human warfare, showing that: the ecology of warfare drives the evolution of sex-biased dispersal; sex-biased dispersal modulates intrafamily and intragenomic conflicts in relation to warfare; intragenomic conflict drives parent-of-origin-specific patterns of gene expression—i.e. ‘genomic imprinting’—in relation to warfare phenotypes; and an ecological perspective of conflicts at the levels of the gene, individual, and social group yields novel predictions as to pathologies associated with mutations and epimutations at loci underpinning human violence.

...

A remarkable feature of the kinship theory of genomic imprinting is that it not only illuminates adaptation but also yields testable predictions as to the particular maladaptive phenotypes associated with deleterious genetic and epigenetic mutations [29,30,32,62,75–77]. We have shown that mutations and epimutations tilting the balance towards paternally expressed belligerence and bravery loci are expected to result in ‘aggressive’ and ‘reckless’ pathologies, while those tilting the balance towards maternally expressed loci are expected to result in ‘submissive’ and ‘cowardly’ pathologies, these being extreme phenotypes that lie far beyond the inclusive-fitness optima of any of the individual's genes. Accordingly, our analysis suggests that some instances of societally damaging intergroup violence may represent maladaptive defects rather than well-honed adaptations to our ancestral environment. Understanding that such violence may be associated with imprinting disorders should facilitate discovery of the genes involved.
study  models  bio  biodet  sapiens  psychology  social-psych  evopsych  anthropology  evolution  war  meta:war  EGT  deep-materialism  🌞  epigenetics  speculation  selfish-gene  org:nat  cultural-dynamics  cooperate-defect  peace-violence  interests  ecology 
march 2017 by nhaliday
Evolution of Resistance Against CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Drive | Genetics
CRISPR/Cas9 gene drive (CGD) promises to be a highly adaptable approach for spreading genetically engineered alleles throughout a species, even if those alleles impair reproductive success. CGD has been shown to be effective in laboratory crosses of insects, yet it remains unclear to what extent potential resistance mechanisms will affect the dynamics of this process in large natural populations. Here we develop a comprehensive population genetic framework for modeling CGD dynamics, which incorporates potential resistance mechanisms as well as random genetic drift. Using this framework, we calculate the probability that resistance against CGD evolves from standing genetic variation, de novo mutation of wild-type alleles, or cleavage repair by nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ)—a likely by-product of CGD itself. We show that resistance to standard CGD approaches should evolve almost inevitably in most natural populations, unless repair of CGD-induced cleavage via NHEJ can be effectively suppressed, or resistance costs are on par with those of the driver. The key factor determining the probability that resistance evolves is the overall rate at which resistance alleles arise at the population level by mutation or NHEJ. By contrast, the conversion efficiency of the driver, its fitness cost, and its introduction frequency have only minor impact. Our results shed light on strategies that could facilitate the engineering of drivers with lower resistance potential, and motivate the possibility to embrace resistance as a possible mechanism for controlling a CGD approach. This study highlights the need for careful modeling of the population dynamics of CGD prior to the actual release of a driver construct into the wild.
study  org:nat  bio  genetics  evolution  population-genetics  models  CRISPR  unintended-consequences  geoengineering  mutation  risk  parasites-microbiome  threat-modeling  selfish-gene  cooperate-defect  red-queen 
february 2017 by nhaliday
Confounder Of The Day: How Sexy Your Parents Were | Slate Star Codex
- "paternal age effect" just a selection effect (men w/ issues end up having kids later due to difficulty finding a mate)
- one other suggested inconsistent explanation: spermatogenic selfish-gene effect
- interesting discussion of sperm freezing
yvain  ssc  psychiatry  medicine  aging  developmental  study  summary  genetic-load  hmm  biodet  causation  planning  parenting  paternal-age  disease  sex  gender  selfish-gene  gwern  confounding  EGT  epidemiology  null-result  sib-study  ratty  behavioral-gen  cooperate-defect 
february 2017 by nhaliday
Intergenerational conflict may explain the menopause | The Economist
The data thus collected let Dr Croft analyse the lives of 525 calves born into three of the pods. He found that if an elderly female gave birth at around the same time as a youngster, her calf was, on average, 1.7 times more likely to die before the age of 15 than the youngster’s was. This was not caused directly by the mother’s age. In the absence of such coincidence of birth, the calves of elderly mothers were just as likely to live to 15 as those of young mothers. But when it came to head-to-head arrogation of resources for offspring, the youngsters outcompeted their elders, and their offspring reaped the benefits.

Plugging these numbers into his model, Dr Croft showed that the diminution of fecundity in elderly females that this intergenerational competition creates, combined with the fact that the youngsters an elderly female is competing with are often her own daughters (so it is her grandoffspring that are benefiting), means it is better for her posterity if she gives up breeding altogether, and concentrates her efforts on helping those daughters. Whether women once gained the same sorts of benefits from the menopause as killer whales do remains to be determined. But it is surely a reasonable hypothesis.
news  org:rec  org:biz  cocktail  bio  sapiens  nature  sex  aging  evolution  selfish-gene  endocrine  EEA  org:anglo  roots  EGT  gender  cooperate-defect 
january 2017 by nhaliday

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