During the course of normal respiration, reactive oxygen species are produced which are particularly detrimental to mitochondrial function. This is shown by recent studies with a mouse that lacks the mitochondrial form of superoxide dismutase (Sod2). Tissues that are heavily dependent on mitochondrial function such as the brain and heart are most severely affected in the Sod2 mutant mouse.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
In the first paper to present formal theory explaining that senescence is a consequence of natural selection, W. D. Hamilton concluded that human postmenopausal longevity results from the contributions of ancestral grandmothers to the reproduction of their relatives. A grandmother hypothesis, subsequently elaborated with additional lines of evidence, helps explain both exceptional longevity and additional features of life history that distinguish humans from the other great apes.
In most primate groups emigration of the maturing young of one or the other sex tends to serve as an incest avoidance mechanism. Among most primate species it is the males who change groups. This supports the theory that, in terms of reproductive success, males should compete for mates and females should compete for resources. In hominoids the combination of increased longevity and greater female discrimination in mate selection seems responsible for female emigration. This may relate to the high frequency of patrilocality and male control of resources among human groups.
Steadily accumulating scientific evidence supports the general importance of oxidative damage of tissue and cellular components as a primary or secondary causative factor in many different human diseases and aging processes. Our goal has been to develop sensitive and reliable means to measure the oxidative damage and defense/repair status of an individual that could be easily used by a physician to determine whether there is an immediate or long-term increased health risk to their patients with regard to oxidative damage.
Radially oriented ensembles of neurons and their projections, termed minicolumns, are hypothesized to be the basic microcircuit of mammalian cerebral cortex. Minicolumns can be divided into a core and a peripheral neuropil space compartment. The core of minicolumns is constrained by the migratory path of pyramidal cells and their attendant radially oriented projections. Variation in minicolumnar morphometry and density is observed both within and across species.
CNTNAP2, one of the largest genes in the human genome, has been linked to human-specific language abilities and neurodevelopmental disorders. Our hypothesis is that epigenetic rather than genetic changes have accelerated the evolution of the human brain. To compare the cortex DNA methylation patterns of human and chimpanzee CNTNAP2 at ultra-high resolution, we combined methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) with NimbleGen tiling arrays for the orthologous gene and flanking sequences.
Regulators of the histone H3-trimethyl lysine-4 (H3K4me3) mark are significantly associated with the genetic risk architecture of common neurodevelopmental disease, including schizophrenia and autism. Typical H3K4me3 is primarily localized in the form of sharp peaks, extending in neuronal chromatin on average only across 500-1500 base pairs mostly in close proximity to annotated transcription start sites.
Journal of Comparative Psychology (Washington, D.C.: 1983)
Despite controversial expectations that animals achieve reciprocal altruism, it is unclear if nonhuman species possess the necessary cognitive abilities. For reciprocal altruism, individuals must anticipate the loss of a commodity and accept a delay before some return. The authors investigated the abilities of 5 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) to cope with increasing waiting duration in exchange tasks. Subjects had to keep a small cookie before returning it to a human partner to obtain a larger piece.