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Archive for the ‘Evolution of Biology Through Culture’ Category


Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

During pregnancy, the baby is mostly protected from harmful microorganisms by the amniotic sac, but recent research suggests the baby could be exposed to small quantities of microbes from the placenta, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood and fetal membranes. One theory is that any possible prenatal exposure could ‘pre-seed’ the infant microbiome. In other words, to set the right conditions for the ‘main seeding event’ for founding the infant microbiome.

When a mother gives birth vaginally and if she breastfeeds, she passes on colonies of essential microbes to her baby. This continues a chain of maternal heritage that stretches through female ancestry for thousands of generations, if all have been vaginally born and breastfed. This means a child’s microbiome, that is the trillions of microorganisms that live on and in him or her, will resemble the microbiome of his/her mother, the grandmother, the great-grandmother and so on, if all have been vaginally born and breastfed.

As soon as the mother’s waters break, suddenly the baby is exposed to a wave of the mother’s vaginal microbes that wash over the baby in the birth canal. They coat the baby’s skin, and enter the baby’s eyes, ears, nose and some are swallowed to be sent down into the gut. More microbes form of the mother’s gut microbes join the colonization through contact with the mother’s faecal matter. Many more microbes come from every breath, from every touch including skin-to-skin contact with the mother and of course, from breastfeeding.

With formula feeding, the baby won’t receive the 700 species of microbes found in breast milk. Inside breast milk, there are special sugars called human milk oligosaccharides (HMO’s) that are indigestible by the baby. These sugars are designed to feed the mother’s microbes newly arrived in the baby’s gut. By multiplying quickly, the ‘good’ bacteria crowd out any potentially harmful pathogens. These ‘good’ bacteria help train the baby’s naive immune system, teaching it to identify what is to be tolerated and what is pathogen to be attacked. This leads to the optimal training of the infant immune system resulting in a child’s best possible lifelong health.

With C-section birth and formula feeding, the baby is not likely to acquire the full complement of the mother’s vaginal, gut and breast milk microbes. Therefore, the baby’s microbiome is not likely to closely resemble the mother’s microbiome. A baby born by C-section is likely to have a different microbiome from its mother, its grandmother, its great-grandmother and so on. C-section breaks the chain of maternal heritage and this break can never be restored.

The long term effect of an altered microbiome for a child’s lifelong health is still to be proven, but many studies link C-section with a significantly increased risk for developing asthma, Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and obesity. Scientists might not yet have all the answers, but the picture that is forming is that C-section and formula feeding could be significantly impacting the health of the next generation. Through the transgenerational aspect to birth, it could even be impacting the health of future generations.

References:

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/shortchanging-a-babys-microbiome/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23926244

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26412384

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25290507

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25974306

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24637604

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22911969

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25650398

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27362264

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306663

http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/14/11/2036

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464665/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24848255

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26412384

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28112736

http://ndnr.com/gastrointestinal/the-infant-microbiome-how-environmental-maternal-factors-influence-its-development/

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Finding the Actions That Alter Evolution

The biologist Marcus Feldman creates mathematical models that reveal how cultural traditions can affect the evolution of a species.

By Elizabeth Svoboda

January 5, 2017

In a commentary in Nature, you and your co-authors wrote, “We hold that organisms are constructed in development, not simply ‘programmed’ to develop by genes.” What does “constructed in development” mean?

It means there’s an interaction between the subject and the environment. The idea of a genetic blueprint is not tenable in light of all that is now known about how all sorts of environmental contingencies affect traits. For many animals it’s like that. Even plants — the same plant that is genetically identical, if you put it in this environment, it’s going to look totally different from if you put it in that environment.

We now have a better picture of the regulatory process on genes. Epigenetics changes the landscape in genetics because it’s not only the pure DNA sequence which influences what’s going on at the level of proteins and enzymes. There’s this whole other stuff, the other 95 percent of the genome, that acts like rheostats — you slide this thing up and down, you get more or less of this protein. It’s a critical thing in how much of this protein is going to be made. It’s interesting to think about the way in which cultural phenomena, which we used to think were things by themselves, can have this effect on how much messenger RNA is made, and therefore on many aspects of gene regulation.

Article to review and VIEW VIDEO

https://www.quantamagazine.org/20170105-marcus-feldman-interview-culture-and-evolution/

 

ABOUT QUANTA

Quanta Magazine’s mission is to enhance public understanding of research developments in mathematics and the physical and life sciences. Quanta articles do not necessarily represent the views of the Simons Foundation. Learn more

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The Extension of Biology Through Culture

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the

National Academies of Sciences and Engineering

http://www.thebeckmancenter.org/

Distinctive Voices @ The Beckman Center

SOURCE

From: “Distinctive Voices @ The Beckman Center” <voicesatbeckman@nas.ccsend.com> on behalf of “Distinctive Voices @ The Beckman Center” <voicesatbeckman@nas.edu>

Reply-To: <voicesatbeckman@nas.edu>

Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 10:01 PM

To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Subject: RSVP NOW for Science Lecture – October 12

beckman4f7f99de-f7fa-43eb-8b4d-8fb02183dbcd

November 16, 2016

Evolution of Biology Through Culture

Andrew Whiten

University of St. Andrews 

 

The Extension of Biology Through Culture

Organized by Marcus Feldman, Francisco J. Ayala, Andrew Whiten and Kevin Laland

 

November 16-17, 2016

 

 

Nov 15   6:30 PM         Speaker Welcome Dinner at hotel (informal – no program)

 

 

Wednesday, November 16

 

7:30 AM         Bus departs Hotel for Beckman Center

 

7:30 AM         Registration and Buffet Breakfast, Beckman Center Dining Room

 

Session I

 

8:30 AM         Welcome Remarks, Marcus Feldman, Stanford University

 

9:00 AM         Evolution and revolution in cetacean vocal culture: lessons from humpback whale song, Ellen Garland, University of St Andrews, UK

 

9:50 AM         Gene-culture coevolution in whales and dolphins, Hal Whitehead, Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

 

10:40 AM         Break

 

11:00 AM         Cultural legacies: unpacking the inter-generational transmission of information in birds,
Lucy Aplin, University of Oxford, UK

 

11:50 AM         What evolves in the evolution of social learning? A social insect perspective, Elli
Leadbeater, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)

 

12:40 PM         Buffet Lunch, Beckman Center Dining Room

 

Session II

 

1:50 PM         Can culture re-shape the evolution of learning and how?, Arnon Lotem, Tel Aviv
University

 

2:40 PM         What long term field studies reveal of primate traditions, Susan Perry, University of
California, Los Angeles

 

3:30 PM         Break (set up posters)

 

4:00 PM         Can we identify a primate signature in social learning? Dorothy Fragaszy, University of
Georgia

 

4:50 PM         The evolution of primate intelligence, Kevin Laland, University of St Andrews, UK

 

5:40 PM         Poster Session and Buffet Dinner (Sackler registrants)

 

7:00 PM         Distinctive Voices Public Lecture

                       How animal cultures extend the scope of biology: Tradition and learning from apes to whales to bees, Andrew Whiten, University of St Andrews, UK

 

8:00 PM         Dessert and Coffee with combined audience

 

8:45 PM         Bus departs Beckman Center for Hotel

 

 

Thursday, November 17

 

7:00 AM         Bus departs Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel for Beckman Center

 

7:00 AM         Buffet Breakfast, Beckman Center Dining Room

 

Session III

 

8:00 AM        The role of cultural innovations, learning processes, and ecological dynamics in
shaping Middle Stone Age cultural adaptations
, Francesco d’Errico, University of                                     Bordeaux, France

 

8:50 AM         The ontogenetic foundations of cumulative cultural transmission, Cristine Legare,                        University of Texas, Austin

 

9:40 AM         Break

 

10:00 AM         “I don’t know”: ignorance and question-asking as engines for cognitive development,
Paul Harris, Harvard University

 

10:50 AM         Childhood as simulated annealing: How wide hypothesis exploration in an extended
childhood contributes to cultural learning
, Alison Gopnik, University of California,                                     Berkeley

 

11:40 AM         Buffet Lunch, Beckman Center Dining Room

 

Session IV

 

12:50 PM         How language shapes the nature of cultural inheritance, Susan Gelman, University of Michigan

 

1:40 PM         Big data and prospects for an evolutionary science of human history, Russel Gray, Max
Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany

 

2:30 PM         Break

 

2:50 PM         Cultural Evolutionary Psychology, Cecilia Heyes, University of Oxford, UK

 

3:40 PM         Ongoing prospects for a unified science of cultural evolution, Alex Mesoudi, University of Exeter, UK

 

4:30 PM        Concluding Remarks, Francisco J. Ayala, University of California, Irvine

 

4:45 PM        Bus departs Beckman Center for Orange County Airport and Hotel

SOURCE

From: Marcus W Feldman <mfeldman@stanford.edu>

Date: Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 12:16 PM

To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Subject: Fwd: Sackler program for Irvine:11/16-17

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