@article{2917,
abstract = {The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) has been performed principally as a one-way survey, listening of radio frequencies across the Milky Way and other galaxies. However, scientists have engaged in an active messaging only rarely. This suggests the simple rationale that if other civilizations exist and take a similar approach to ours, namely listening but not broadcasting, the result is a silent universe. A simple game theoretical model, the prisoner's dilemma, explains this situation: each player (civilization) can passively search (defect), or actively search and broadcast (cooperate). In order to maximize the payoff (or, equivalently, minimize the risks) the best strategy is not to broadcast. In fact, the active search has been opposed on the basis that it might be dangerous to expose ourselves. However, most of these ideas have not been based on objective arguments, and ignore accounting of the possible gains and losses. Thus, the question stands: should we perform an active search? I develop a game-theoretical framework where civilizations can be of different types, and explicitly apply it to a situation where societies are either interested in establishing a two-way communication or belligerent and in urge to exploit ours. The framework gives a quantitative solution (a mixed-strategy), which is how frequent we should perform the active SETI. This frequency is roughly proportional to the inverse of the risk, and can be extremely small. However, given the immense amount of stars being scanned, it supports active SETI. The model is compared with simulations, and the possible actions are evaluated through the San Marino scale, measuring the risks of messaging.},
author = {Vladar, Harold},
journal = {International Journal of Astrobiology},
number = {1},
pages = {53 -- 62},
publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
title = {{The game of active search for extra terrestrial intelligence Breaking the Great Silence }},
doi = {10.1017/S1473550412000407},
volume = {12},
year = {2012},
}
@article{2962,
abstract = {The choice of summary statistics is a crucial step in approximate Bayesian computation (ABC). Since statistics are often not sufficient, this choice involves a trade-off between loss of information and reduction of dimensionality. The latter may increase the efficiency of ABC. Here, we propose an approach for choosing summary statistics based on boosting, a technique from the machine learning literature. We consider different types of boosting and compare them to partial least squares regression as an alternative. To mitigate the lack of sufficiency, we also propose an approach for choosing summary statistics locally, in the putative neighborhood of the true parameter value. We study a demographic model motivated by the re-introduction of Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) into the Swiss Alps. The parameters of interest are the mean and standard deviation across microsatellites of the scaled ancestral mutation rate (θanc = 4 Ne u), and the proportion of males obtaining access to matings per breeding season (ω). By simulation, we assess the properties of the posterior distribution obtained with the various methods. According to our criteria, ABC with summary statistics chosen locally via boosting with the L2-loss performs best. Applying that method to the ibex data, we estimate θanc ≈ 1.288, and find that most of the variation across loci of the ancestral mutation rate u is between 7.7×10−4 and 3.5×10−3 per locus per generation. The proportion of males with access to matings is estimated to ω ≈ 0.21, which is in good agreement with recent independent estimates.},
author = {Aeschbacher, Simon and Beaumont, Mark and Futschik, Andreas},
journal = {Genetics},
number = {3},
pages = {1027 -- 1047},
publisher = {Genetics Society of America},
title = {{A novel approach for choosing summary statistics in approximate Bayesian computation}},
doi = {10.1534/genetics.112.143164},
volume = {192},
year = {2012},
}
@article{3131,
abstract = {In large populations, many beneficial mutations may be simultaneously available and may compete with one another, slowing adaptation. By finding the probability of fixation of a favorable allele in a simple model of a haploid sexual population, we find limits to the rate of adaptive substitution, Λ, that depend on simple parameter combinations. When variance in fitness is low and linkage is loose, the baseline rate of substitution is Λ 0=2NU〈s〉 is the population size, U is the rate of beneficial mutations per genome, and 〈s〉 is their mean selective advantage. Heritable variance ν in log fitness due to unlinked loci reduces Λ by e -4ν under polygamy and e -8ν under monogamy. With a linear genetic map of length R Morgans, interference is yet stronger. We use a scaling argument to show that the density of adaptive substitutions depends on s, N, U, and R only through the baseline density: Λ/R=F(Λ 0/R). Under the approximation that the interference due to different sweeps adds up, we show that Λ/R~(Λ 0/R)/(1+2Λ 0/R), implying that interference prevents the rate of adaptive substitution from exceeding one per centimorgan per 200 generations. Simulations and numerical calculations confirm the scaling argument and confirm the additive approximation for Λ 0/R 1; for higher Λ 0/R, the rate of adaptation grows above R/2, but only very slowly. We also consider the effect of sweeps on neutral diversity and show that, while even occasional sweeps can greatly reduce neutral diversity, this effect saturates as sweeps become more common-diversity can be maintained even in populations experiencing very strong interference. Our results indicate that for some organisms the rate of adaptive substitution may be primarily recombination-limited, depending only weakly on the mutation supply and the strength of selection.},
author = {Weissman, Daniel and Barton, Nicholas H},
journal = {PLoS Genetics},
number = {6},
publisher = {Public Library of Science},
title = {{Limits to the rate of adaptive substitution in sexual populations}},
doi = {10.1371/journal.pgen.1002740},
volume = {8},
year = {2012},
}
@article{2968,
abstract = {Little is known about the stability of trophic relationships in complex natural communities over evolutionary timescales. Here, we use sequence data from 18 nuclear loci to reconstruct and compare the intraspecific histories of major Pleistocene refugial populations in the Middle East, the Balkans and Iberia in a guild of four Chalcid parasitoids (Cecidostiba fungosa, Cecidostiba semifascia, Hobbya stenonota and Mesopolobus amaenus) all attacking Cynipid oak galls. We develop a likelihood method to numerically estimate models of divergence between three populations from multilocus data. We investigate the power of this framework on simulated data, and-using triplet alignments of intronic loci-quantify the support for all possible divergence relationships between refugial populations in the four parasitoids. Although an East to West order of population divergence has highest support in all but one species, we cannot rule out alternative population tree topologies. Comparing the estimated times of population splits between species, we find that one species, M. amaenus, has a significantly older history than the rest of the guild and must have arrived in central Europe at least one glacial cycle prior to other guild members. This suggests that although all four species may share a common origin in the East, they expanded westwards into Europe at different times. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.},
author = {Lohse, Konrad and Barton, Nicholas H and Melika, George and Stone, Graham},
journal = {Molecular Ecology},
number = {18},
pages = {4605 -- 4617},
publisher = {Wiley-Blackwell},
title = {{A likelihood based comparison of population histories in a parasitoid guild}},
doi = {10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05700.x},
volume = {21},
year = {2012},
}
@inbook{3277,
abstract = {The problem of the origin of metazoa is becoming more urgent in the context of astrobiology. By now it is clear that clues to the understanding of this crucial transition in the evolution of life can arise in a fourth pathway besides the three possibilities in the quest for simplicity outlined by Bonner in his classical book. In other words, solar system exploration seems to be one way in the long-term to elucidate the simplicity of evolutionary development. We place these ideas in the context of different inheritance systems, namely the genotypic and phenotypic replicators with limited or unlimited heredity, and ask which of these can support multicellular development, and to which degree of complexity. However, the quest for evidence on the evolution of biotas from planets around other stars does not seem to be feasible with present technology with direct visualization of living organisms on exoplanets. But this may be attempted on the Galilean moons of Jupiter where there is a possibility of detecting reliable biomarkers in the next decade with the Europa Jupiter System Mission, in view of recent progress by landing micropenetrators on planetary, or satellite surfaces. Mars is a second possibility in the inner Solar System, in spite of the multiple difficulties faced by the fleet of past, present and future missions. We discuss a series of preliminary ideas for elucidating the origin of metazoan analogues with available instrumentation in potential payloads of feasible space missions to the Galilean moons.},
author = {de Vladar, Harold and Chela Flores, Julian},
booktitle = {Life on Earth and other planetary bodies},
pages = {387 -- 405},
publisher = {Springer},
title = {{Can the evolution of multicellularity be anticipated in the exploration of the solar system?}},
doi = {10.1007/978-94-007-4966-5_22},
volume = {24},
year = {2012},
}