A scientist at the University of Exeter has developed a mathematical model to explore why some people are programmed to be nasty, while others stay nice. Working with a team of international scientist, Dr. Sasha Dall has designed a mathematical framework that examines social behavior in different species. The mathematical model will help us to understand the evolution of sociality.
For some time, the theory of kin selection allowed scientist to explain why some animals adopt selfless behavior in order to benefit their relatives. For instance, worker bees lay down their lives to promote their queen’s welfare. However, up to now researchers have not explained why some people appear genetically programmed to assist others.
Using colony-living microorganisms to study why some people are by nature selfish and others generous, the scientists came up with a new model of social evolution that enables them to know how far behavior can be influenced by the surrounding environment.
The researchers found that individuals’ behavior can develop to be determined by some hereditary genetic tendencies that correctly foretell social relations, such as their likely affiliation to their surroundings, and other members of their community rather than directly responding to what they experience or see.
Stimulating the brain using electricity or other methods can help to ease the symptoms of many psychiatric and neurological disorders. This method is already used to treat conditions such as depression and epilepsy. Little is known about why this method is effective, or which brain parts should be targeted to treat various diseases.
A new study, led by the University at Buffalo and the University of Pennsylvania, marks a step forward in explaining what happens when the brain is stimulated. The study describes how stimulating one part of the brain affects the stimulation of other parts and far-reaching activity within the brain.
Using a computational model to simulate the activity of the brain in 8 people, the researchers examined the effects of stimulating each of eighty three parts within the brain of each subject. Although the results varied by individual, there was a common trend.
Published in PLOS Computational Biology, the research study found that some parts of the brain can easily steer the brain into various states when stimulated. Other brain parts have less of an effect.
Researchers in Japan are using a mathematical analysis to come up with a formula that can describe DNA movement inside the human cells. By use of calculations, scientists may be able to show the genome’s 3D architecture in human. In future, these results may enable researchers to understand in detail the functions of DNA.
Previously, techniques used to study the architecture of the genome relied on processes that require killing the cells. The current research project, involving many collaborators in Japan, used molecular and cell biology methods to keep the cell alive and enabled collection of data about the DNA movement.
The study considers the DNA factual dimensions, which reveals that the DNA is densely packed inside the cell. According to Soya Shinkai, PhD, Assistant Professor at Hiroshima University, the way the DNA is packed may show how certain genes are used by the cell.
DNA is often imagined as a static and stable code. However, the genome as whole is an active molecule that changes shape and moves around. Today, researchers can sequence the whole basic DNA code, but understanding the genome’ larger-scale 3D architecture would show more information about how the code is used by cells.