11,425 research outputs found

    Informational drives for sensor evolution

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    © 2012 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licenseIt has been hypothesized that the evolution of sensors is a pivotal driver for the evolution of organisms, and especially, as a crucial part of the perception-action loop, a driver for cognitive development. The questions of why and how this is the case are important: what are the principles that push the evolution of sensorimotor systems? An interesting aspect of this problem is the co-option of sensors for functions other than those originally driving their development (e.g. the auditive sense of bats being employed as a 'visual' modality). Even more striking is the phenomenon found in nature of sensors being driven to the limits of precision, while starting from much simpler beginnings. While a large potential for diversification and exaptation is visible in the observed phenotypes, gaining a deeper understanding of why and how this can be achieved is a significant problem. In this present paper, we will introduce a formal and generic information-theoretic model for understanding potential drives of sensor evolution, both in terms of improving sensory ability and in terms of extending and/or shifting sensory function

    Hyperbolic Structures and Root Systems

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    We discuss the construction of a one parameter family of complex hyperbolic structures on the complement of a toric mirror arrangement associated with a simply laced root system. Subsequently we find conditions for which parameter values this leads to ball quotients

    Low-carbohydrate diets affect energy balance and fuel homeostasis differentially in lean and obese rats

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    In parallel with increased prevalence of overweight people in affluent societies are individuals trying to lose weight, often using low-carbohydrate diets. Nevertheless, long-term metabolic consequences of those diets, usually high in (saturated) fat, remain unclear. Therefore, we investigated long-term effects of high-fat diets with different carbohydrate/protein ratios on energy balance and fuel homeostasis in obese (fa/fa) Zucker and lean Wistar rats. Animals were fed high-carbohydrate (HC), high-fat (HsF), or low-carbohydrate, high-fat, high-protein (LC-HsF-HP) diets for 60 days. Both lines fed the LC-HsF-HP diet displayed reduced energy intake compared with those fed the HsF diet (Zucker, -3.7%) or the HC diet (Wistar rats, -12.4%). This was not associated with lower weight gain relative to HC fed rats, because of increased food efficiencies in each line fed HsF and particularly LC-HsF-HP food. Zucker rats were less glucose tolerant than Wistar rats. Lowest glucose tolerances were found in HsF and particularly in LC-HsF-HP-fed animals irrespective of line, but this paralleled reduced plasma adiponectin levels, elevated plasma resistin levels, higher retroperitoneal fat masses, and reduced insulin sensitivity (indexed by insulin-induced hypoglycemia) only in Wistar rats. In Zucker rats, however, improved insulin responses during glucose tolerance testing and tendency toward increased insulin sensitivities were observed with HsF or LC-HsF-HP feeding relative to HC feeding. Thus, despite adverse consequences of LC-HsF diets on blood glucose homeostasis, principal differences exist in the underlying hormonal regulatory mechanisms, which could have benefits for B-cell functioning and insulin action in the obese state but not in the lean state.