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Sex Determination: Why So Many Ways of Doing It?

Sex Determination: Why So Many Ways of Doing It? | Biology | Scoop.it

Sexual reproduction is an ancient feature of life on earth, and the familiar X and Y chromosomes in humans and other model species have led to the impression that sex determination mechanisms are old and conserved. In fact, males and females are determined by diverse mechanisms that evolve rapidly in many taxa. Yet this diversity in primary sex-determining signals is coupled with conserved molecular pathways that trigger male or female development. Conflicting selection on different parts of the genome and on the two sexes may drive many of these transitions, but few systems with rapid turnover of sex determination mechanisms have been rigorously studied. Here we survey our current understanding of how and why sex determination evolves in animals and plants and identify important gaps in our knowledge that present exciting research opportunities to characterize the evolutionary forces and molecular pathways underlying the evolution of sex determination.

 

Bachtrog D, Mank JE, Peichel CL, Kirkpatrick M, Otto SP, et al. (2014) Sex Determination: Why So Many Ways of Doing It? PLoS Biol 12(7): e1001899. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001899


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Arjen ten Have's curator insight, July 7, 2014 12:27 PM

I am getting more and more bored by all these pretentious sounding papers in plos, although mostly in plosone. Here is another one, my question is Why is that even a question? Meaning it is rather obvious. One of things that apparently are still not clear is the difference between hard and soft selection. Hard being defined as having an impact irrespective of the environment, soft impact depending on the environment. Sexual selection is typically hard, hence any mutation that affects sex, like in "to have sex or not to have sex", is due to affect the offspring. Hence, if sex is an emergent property of evolution (and I for one believe it is), than many ways of sex signalling is a logic result of that emergent property. Or do I miss something?

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Ebola: Causes, symptoms, treatments and prevention - by Eileen Eva - Helium

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola) is a deadly viral disease that affects humans and their primates (chimpanzees, monkeys, and gorillas). The disease..., Eileen Eva
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Emergency measles vaccine clinics set up to tackle outbreak - Express.co.uk

Emergency measles vaccine clinics set up to tackle outbreak - Express.co.uk | Biology | Scoop.it
The Guardian
Emergency measles vaccine clinics set up to tackle outbreak
Express.co.uk
The outbreak could be due to thousands of children missing out on the MMR jabs from the late 1990s due to unfounded fears linking the vaccination with autism.
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Scientists Move Closer to a Long-Lasting Flu Vaccine

Scientists Move Closer to a Long-Lasting Flu Vaccine | Biology | Scoop.it
Thanks to a flurry of recent studies, flu experts foresee a time when seasonal flu shots are a thing of the past.
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Suspected measles death in UK sparks wave of vaccinations - World - NZ Herald News

Suspected measles death in UK sparks wave of vaccinations - World - NZ Herald News | Biology | Scoop.it
Hundreds of children are getting vital MMR jabs at special sessions after a suspected death in a British measles epidemic.
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First measles fatality feared as man found dead in Swansea flat

First measles fatality feared as man found dead in Swansea flat | Biology | Scoop.it
Coroner investigates whether measles was cause of Gareth Williams's death and health officials call again for parents to immunise children (RT @trishgreenhalgh: A 25 year old just has died of measles in Wales.
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