244 Works

Evolution and development at the origin of a phylum

Bradley Deline, Jeffery Thompson, Nicholas Smith, Samuel Zamora, Imran Rahman, Sarah Sheffield, William Ausich, Thomas Kammer & Colin Sumrall
Quantifying morphological evolution is key to determining the patterns and processes underlying the origin of phyla. We constructed a hierarchical morphological character matrix to characterize the radiation and establishment of echinoderm body plans during the early Paleozoic. This showed that subphylum-level clades diverged gradually through the Cambrian, and the distinctiveness of the resulting body plans was amplified by the extinction of transitional forms and obscured by convergent evolution during the Ordovician. Higher-order characters that define...

Data from: Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars

John C. Bridges, Jim Clemmet, Michael Croon, Mark R. Sims, Derek Pullan, Jan-Peter Muller, Yu Tao, Xiong Xiong, Alfiah R. Putri, Tim Parker, Stuart M. R. Turner, Judith M. Pillinger, J. C. Bridges, D. Pullan, M. R. Sims, S. M. R. Turner, J. M. Pillinger & A. R. Putri
The 2003 Beagle 2 Mars lander has been identified in Isidis Planitia at 90.43° E, 11.53° N, close to the predicted target of 90.50° E, 11.53° N. Beagle 2 was an exobiology lander designed to look for isotopic and compositional signs of life on Mars, as part of the European Space Agency Mars Express (MEX) mission. The 2004 recalculation of the original landing ellipse from a 3-sigma major axis from 174 km to 57 km,...

Data from: Foraging bumblebees use social cues more when the task is difficult

David Baracchi, Vera Vasas, Soha Jamshed Iqbal & Sylvain Alem
When foraging in their natural environment, many animals readily complement their personal knowledge with additional social information. To balance the costs and benefits of copying others, animals have to discern situations in which it is more advantageous to use social rather than personal information. Here, we used foraging bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) in a controlled laboratory setting and showed that the difficulty of a foraging task affects how the bees weight the two types of information....

Data from: Hybrid asexuality as a primary postzygotic barrier between nascent species: on the interconnection between asexuality, hybridization and speciation

Karel Janko, Jan Pačes, Hilde Wilkinson-Herbots, Rui J. Costa, Jan Roslein, Pavel Drozd, Nataliia Iakovenko, Jakub Rídl, Miluše Hroudová, Jan Kočí, Radka Reifová, Věra Šlechtová & Lukáš Choleva
Although sexual reproduction is ubiquitous throughout nature, the molecular machinery behind it has been repeatedly disrupted during evolution, leading to the emergence of asexual lineages in all eukaryotic phyla. Despite intensive research, little is known about what causes the switch from sexual reproduction to asexuality. Interspecific hybridization is one of the candidate explanations but the reasons for the apparent association between hybridization and asexuality remain unclear. In this study we combined cross-breeding experiments with population...

Data from: Dynamic population codes of multiplexed stimulus features in primate area MT

Erin Goddard, Samuel G. Solomon & Thomas A. Carlson
The middle-temporal area (MT) of primate visual cortex is critical in the analysis of visual motion. Single-unit studies suggest that the response dynamics of neurons within area MT depend on stimulus features, but how these dynamics emerge at the population level, and how feature representations interact, is not clear. Here, we used multivariate classification analysis to study how stimulus features are represented in the spiking activity of populations of neurons in area MT of marmoset...

Data from: Time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of pteropods

Alice K. Burridge, Christine Hörnlein, Arie W. Janssen, Martin Hughes, Stephanie L. Bush, Ferdinand Marlétaz, Rebeca Gasca, Annelies C. Pierrot-Bults, Ellinor Michel, Jonathan A. Todd, Jeremy R. Young, Karen J. Osborn, Steph B.J. Menken, Katja T.C.A. Peijnenburg, Katja T. C. A. Peijnenburg & Steph B. J. Menken
Pteropods are a widespread group of holoplanktonic gastropod molluscs and are uniquely suitable for study of long-term evolutionary processes in the open ocean because they are the only living metazoan plankton with a good fossil record. Pteropods have been proposed as bioindicators to monitor the impacts of ocean acidification and in consequence have attracted considerable research interest, however, a robust evolutionary framework for the group is still lacking. Here we reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships and...

Data from: Is predictability salient? A study of attentional capture by auditory patterns

Rosy Southwell, Anna Baumann, Cécile Gal, Nicolas Barascud, Karl Friston, Maria Chait & Rosy Southwell
In this series of behavioural and electroencephalography (EEG) experiments, we investigate the extent to which repeating patterns of sounds capture attention. Work in the visual domain has revealed attentional capture by statistically predictable stimuli, consistent with predictive coding accounts which suggest that attention is drawn to sensory regularities. Here, stimuli comprised rapid sequences of tone pips, arranged in regular (REG) or random (RAND) patterns. EEG data demonstrate that the brain rapidly recognizes predictable patterns manifested...

Data from: Female brain size affects the assessment of male attractiveness during mate choice

Alberto Corral-López, Natasha I. Bloch, Alexander Kotrschal, Wouter Van Der Bijl, Severine D. Buechel, Judith E. Mank & Niclas Kolm
Mate choice decisions are central in sexual selection theory aimed to understand how sexual traits evolve and their role in evolutionary diversification. We test the hypothesis that brain size and cognitive ability are important for accurate assessment of partner quality and that variation in brain size and cognitive ability underlies variation in mate choice. We compared sexual preference in guppy female lines selected for divergence in relative brain size, which we have previously shown to...

Data from: Oral microbiomes from hunter-gatherers and traditional farmers reveal shifts in commensal balance and pathogen load linked to diet

Florent Lassalle, Matteo Spagnoletti, Matteo Fumagalli, Liam Shaw, Mark Dyble, Catherine Walker, Mark G. Thomas, Andrea Bamberg Migliano & Francois Balloux
Maladaptation to modern diets has been implicated in several chronic disorders. Given the higher prevalence of disease such as dental caries and chronic gum diseases in industrialized societies, we sought to investigate the impact of different subsistence strategies on oral health and physiology, as documented by the oral microbiome. To control for confounding variables such as environment and host genetics, we sampled saliva from three pairs of populations of hunter-gatherers and traditional farmers living in...

Trust and Transparency in times of Crisis: Results from an Online Survey During the First Wave (April 2020) of the COVID-19 Epidemic in the UK

Luisa Enria, Naomi Waterlow, Nina Rogers, Hannah Brindle, Sham Lal, Rosalind M. Egoo, Shelley Lees & Chrissy Roberts

Plant biodiversity data and environmental and spatial data from Jebel Ichkeul, a limestone mountain in northern Tunisia (1983)

D.A. Kirk, K. Hébert & F. B. Goldsmith
Records for herbaceous and woody plants at 78 nested quadrats on a limestone mountain (Jebel Ichkeul) in Le Parc National de L’Ichkeul are presented. Data for plants represent percent cover (Braun-Blanquet scale), to identify environmental gradients and investigate phytosociology of plant communities. Environmental variables are also presented: altitude, slope, aspect, rock out cropping, index of grazing intensity (78 sites) and olive tree densities by size class (69 sites). Soil pH was collected for 50 sites....

Data from: Do experiences and perceptions about quality of care differ among social groups in Nepal? : A study of maternal healthcare experiences of women with and without disabilities, and Dalit and non-Dalit women

Hridaya Raj Devkota, Andrew Clarke, Emily Murray & Nora Groce
Background: Suboptimal quality of care and disparities in services by healthcare providers are often reported in Nepal. Experience and perceptions about quality of care may differ according to women’s socio-cultural background, individual characteristics, their exposure and expectations. This study aimed to compare perceptions of the quality of maternal healthcare services between two groups that are consistently considered vulnerable, women with disabilities from both the non-Dalit population and Dalit population and their peers without disabilities from...

Data from: Social seeking declines in young adolescents

Indu Dubey, Danielle Ropar, Antonia F. De C. Hamilton & Antonia F De C. Hamilton
The desire to engage with others is an important motivational force throughout our lifespan. It is known that social behaviour and preferences change from childhood to adulthood, but whether this change is linked with any changes in social motivation is not known. We evaluated 255 typically developing participants from ages 4–20 years on a behavioural paradigm ‘Choose a Movie’ (CAM). On every trial, participants had a choice between viewing social or non-social movies presented with...

Data from: Analysis of wild macaque stone tools used to crack oil palm nuts

Tomos Proffitt, V. Lydia Luncz, Suchinda Malaivijitnond, Michael Gumert, Magdalena S. Svensson, Micahel Haslam, M. Haslam, V. L. Luncz, S. Malaivijitnond & M. Gumert
The discovery of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) nut-cracking by wild long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) is significant for the study of non-human primate and hominin percussive behaviour. Up until now, only West African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) and modern human populations were known to use stone hammers to crack open this particular hard-shelled palm nut. The addition of non-habituated, wild macaques increases our comparative dataset of primate lithic percussive behaviour focused on this one plant species....

Data from: Do rivers influence fine-scale population genetic structure of tigers in the Sundarbans?

M. Abdul Aziz, Olutolani Smith, Adam Barlow, Simon Tollington, & Jim J. Groombridge
Global tiger Panthera tigris populations mostly survive within the geographically fragmented forest patches, thereby limited genetic exchange between isolated populations. Assessing the genetic status of these populations can reveal the effects of dispersal barriers and provide critical insights to guide future conservation actions. Using non-invasively collected biological samples, we investigated fine-scale genetic structure of tigers in the Sundarbans mangrove forests intersected by the complex river systems, and which holds one of the largest global tiger...

Data from: Divergence in brain composition during the early stages of ecological specialization in Heliconius butterflies

Stephen H. Montgomery, Richard M. Merrill, S. H. Montgomery & R. M. Merrill
During speciation across ecological gradients diverging populations are exposed to contrasting sensory and spatial information that present new behavioural and perceptive challenges. These challenges may be met by heritable or environmentally-induced changes in brain function which mediate behaviour. However, few studies have investigated patterns of neural divergence at the early stages of speciation, inhibiting our understanding of the relative importance of these processes. Here, we provide a novel case study. The incipient species pair, Heliconius...

Data from: Current ecology, not ancestral dispersal patterns, influences menopause symptom severity

Yuping Yang, Megan Arnot & Ruth Mace
All human females who reach midlife experience menopause, however, it is currently unclear why women experience this period of infertility, and why it is accompanied by many unpleasant symptoms. Using primary data from four ethnic groups in China, we test an existing theory that age of menopause and its symptoms are the result of intragenomic conflict between maternally and paternally inherited genes, with the outcome of such conflict predicted to be contingent on the ancestral...

Data from: Near-infrared dual bioluminescence imaging in mouse models of cancer using infraluciferin

James Anderson & Martin Pule
Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) is ubiquitous in scientific research for the sensitive tracking of biological processes in small animal models. However, due to the attenuation of visible light by tissue, and the limited set of near-infrared bioluminescent enzymes, BLI is largely restricted to monitoring single processes in vivo. Here we show, that by combining stabilised colour mutants of firefly luciferase (FLuc) with the luciferin (LH2) analogue infraluciferin (iLH2), near-infrared dual BLI can be achievedin vivo. The...

Data from: Coupling of palaeontological and neontological reef coral data improves forecasts of biodiversity responses under global climatic change

Lewis A. Jones, Philip D. Mannion, Alexander Farnsworth, Paul J. Valdes, Sarah-Jane Kelland & Peter A. Allison
Reef corals are currently undergoing climatically-driven poleward range expansions, with some evidence for equatorial range retractions. Predicting their response to future climate scenarios is critical to their conservation, but ecological models are based only on short-term observations. The fossil record provides the only empirical evidence for the long-term response of organisms under perturbed climate states. The palaeontological record from the Last Interglacial (LIG; 125,000 years ago), a time of global warming, suggests that reef corals...

Data from: Cross-species hybridization and the origin of North African date palms

Jonathan M. Flowers, Khaled M. Hazzouri, Muriel Gros-Balthazard, Ziyi Mo, Konstantina Koutroumpa, Andreas Perrakis, Sylvie Ferrand, Hussam S. M. Khierallah, Dorian Q. Fuller, Frederique Aberlenc, Christini Fournaraki & Michael D. Purugganan
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a major fruit crop of arid regions that were domesticated 7,000 y ago in the Near or Middle East. This species is cultivated widely in the Middle East and North Africa, and previous population genetic studies have shown genetic differentiation between these regions. We investigated the evolutionary history of P. dactylifera and its wild relatives by resequencing the genomes of date palm varieties and five of its closest relatives....

Data from: The genomes of two key bumblebee species with primitive eusocial organisation

Ben M. Sadd, Seth M. Barribeau, Guy Bloch, Dirk C. De Graaf, Peter Dearden, Christine Elsik, Jurgen Gadau, Cornelius Grimmelikhuijzen, Martin Hasselmann, Jeffrey Lozier, Hugh Robertson, Guy Smagghe, Eckart Stolle, Matthias Van Vaerenbergh, Robert Waterhouse, Erich Bornberg-Bauer, Steffan Klasberg, Anna Bennett, Francisco Camara, Roderic Guigo, Katharina Hoff, Marco Mariotti, Monica Munos-Torres, Terence Murphy, Didac Santesmasses … & Kim C. Worley
Background: The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies. Bumblebees are also invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and there is widespread concern over recent population declines in some species. High-quality genomic data will inform key aspects of bumblebee biology, including susceptibility to implicated population viability threats. Results: We report the high quality draft genome...

Data from: Variation in promiscuity and sexual selection drives avian rate of Faster-Z evolution

Alison E. Wright, Peter W. Harrison, Fabian Zimmer, Stephen H. Montgomery, Marie A. Pointer & Judith E. Mank
Higher rates of coding sequence evolution have been observed on the Z chromosome relative to the autosomes across a wide range of species. However, despite a considerable body of theory, we lack empirical evidence explaining variation in the strength of the Faster-Z Effect. To assess the magnitude and drivers of Faster-Z Evolution, we assembled six de novo transcriptomes, spanning 90 million years of avian evolution. Our analysis combines expression, sequence and polymorphism data with measures...

Data from: Increased survival of experimentally evolved antimicrobial peptide-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in an animal host

Adam J. Dobson, Joanne Purves & Jens Rolff
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been proposed as new class of antimicrobial drugs, following the increasing prevalence of bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Synthetic AMPs are functional analogues of highly evolutionarily conserved immune effectors in animals and plants, produced in response to microbial infection. Therefore, the proposed therapeutic use of AMPs bears the risk of ‘arming the enemy’: bacteria that evolve resistance to AMPs may be cross-resistant to immune effectors (AMPs) in their hosts. We used a...

Data from: Ablation of insulin-producing cells prevents obesity but not premature mortality caused by a high-sugar diet in Drosophila

Sara Naif Al Saud, Adam C. Summerfield, Nazif Alic, S. N. Al Saud, N. Alic & A. C. Summerfield
Ageing can be modulated by genetic as well as nutritional interventions. In female Drosophila melanogaster, lifespan is maximized at intermediate concentrations of sucrose as the carbohydrate source, and yeast as the protein source. Dampening the signal through the insulin/IGF signalling (IIS) pathway, by genetic ablation of median neurosecretory cells (mNSCs) that produce insulin-like peptides, extends lifespan and counteracts the detrimental effects of excess yeast. However, how IIS reduction impacts health on a high-sugar diet remains...

Data from: Blinded by the load: attention, awareness and the role of perceptual load

Nilli Lavie, Diane M. Beck, Nikos Konstantinou, N. Lavie, D. M. Beck & N. Konstantinou
What is the relationship between attention and conscious awareness? Awareness sometimes appears to be restricted to the contents of focused attention, yet at other times irrelevant distractors will dominate awareness. This contradictory relationship has also been reflected in an abundance of discrepant research findings leading to an enduring controversy in cognitive psychology. Lavie's load theory of attention suggests that the puzzle can be solved by considering the role of perceptual load. Although distractors will intrude...

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