That’s disgusting! How primates decide what not to eat

Many species either avoid food contaminated with faeces or thoroughly handle the food, trying to clean it before eating.

All animals need to find a way to avoid contact with pathogens when they are eating. For primates, Dr Cécile Sarabian, based at Kyoto University Primate Research Institute in Japan, shows that many species either avoid food contaminated with faeces or thoroughly handle the food, trying to clean it before eating. For the researcher, this is proof that this behaviour […]

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Globalization and the erosion of geo-ethnic checkpoints

Globalization and the erosion of geoethnic checkpoints

Understanding the ecology of complex adaptive systems, such as organisms, societies, and languages, poses many challenges. Dr Chris Girard, Associate Professor of Sociology with the Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University, has developed an evolutionary model, known as coevolving informatics, that offers a transdisciplinary approach to understanding complex adaptive systems. Coevolving informatics employs complexity and evolutionary […]

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Social dilemmas reveal selective inattention in indirect reciprocity

Our decisions whether or not to cooperate with a stranger rely on reputation.

Cooperation with others generates prosperity within human society, yet research into the evolution of cooperation, particularly indirect reciprocity, has left much unexplained. Indirect reciprocity involves assessment rules and draws on moral judgment. Most studies assume that people will consider all the information available to them before deciding whether to cooperate. Dr Isamu Okada, Associate Professor at Soka University, Japan, has […]

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The purpose of emotion: An overlooked self-regulatory sense

The traditional image of good and evil is unhelpful when discussing emotions

We are all familiar with the term ‘emotions’ and experience a myriad of good and bad feelings every day. But what do we really understand about their biological origin or purpose? In a thorough analysis and integration of existing theory and literature, Katherine Peil-Kauffman redefines emotion as a sense, a complex elaboration of the first simple sensory system to have […]

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Metabiology and the complexity of natural evolution

Metabiology and the complexity of natural evolution

In his study of metabiology, Arturo Carsetti, from the University of Rome Tor Vergata, reviews existing theories and explores novel concepts regarding the complexity of biological systems while demonstrating the role of information processing and mathematical reasoning. On the basis of what is claimed by Gregory Chaitin, he perceives evolution as a hill-climbing random walk in software space, making biology mathematical […]

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Evolutionary arms race: A 400 million-year-old battle between HIV and ancient genes, HERC5 and HERC6

Two human genes, HERC5 and HERC6 have protective effects against HIV and other viruses. Dr Stephen D. Barr from Western University, Canada, traces the evolution of these genes throughout human history and investigates their protective effects. His work has shown that these genes are involved in an evolutionary arms race, with host defence mechanisms and the virus ever trying to […]

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ESEB: Helping evolutionary biology evolve in Europe

Evolution has been shaping our planet’s inhabitants for billions of years, and it continues to do so. Since its inception in 1987, the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) and its members have worked to further our understanding of the complex subject, and its president Professor Laurent Keller is no exception. Professor Keller spoke with us at Research Outreach about […]

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