July 20, 2011

From prof. Robert Sapolsky, “Human behavioral biology” course, Stanford.

Examples of:
– effects of transposable elements on promoters/tfbs;
– discreteness of cellular logic;
– discontinuity in evolution.

Remark: no such simple logic exists in cells, these are just logical examples.

Old logic: IF dehydration THEN turn on kidneys
New logic: IF dehydration THEN ovulate (seasonal mating discovered)

Old: IF it smells like me THEN don’t mate
New: IF it smells like me THEN cooperate (kin selection discovered)

Old: IF glucocorticoid (stress) THEN suppress immunity
New: IF progesterone hormone THEN suppress immunity (no immune reaction against fetus discovered)

Example of macro-changes in networks and speed in evolution: siberian silver foxes. Breed only those that are more domestic. Do this for \approx 35 generations. Result: puppy-like adults. Reason: breeding them for infantile behavior influences physical features.

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