Monday, March 7, 2016

Why is English - and biology - so Complicated?

On the evening his sixtieth birthday, Kelly Sutton lay on the floor of his living room, barely alive and gasping for air. On the other side of town, his friends had planned a surprise party and they crouched in the darkness of their office space; in cubicles, behind desks and chairs, gripping confetti and streamers. They anxiously awaited Kelly’s arrival to celebrate his milestone. Earlier in the day, Kelly begrudgingly agreed to come back to the office to fix a computer. But Kelly did not return that evening. His friends would never get the chance to surprise him. As the night pressed on, Kelly’s friend Angus stared off into the darkened spaces of the office and began to put the pieces of a puzzle together. Not long before, Kelly had given Angus a prized possession, Kelly’s trusted pool cue. Angus hadn’t thought much about it at the time, but this was a clue. This was a cry for help.
Angus rushed to Kelly’s apartment. He burst out of the elevator across from Kelly’s door, only to find it locked and dead-bolted shut. Angus smelled the distinctly putrid odor of mercaptan, found in blood and brains, and excreted in animal feces. But because humans can detect it very easily, mercaptan is also added to natural gas so that we can quickly detect a leak of an otherwise colorless, odorless gas. Although his his tight acid washed jeans made bending difficult, Angus kneeled down, and quickly traced the odor to the crack under Kelly’s apartment door. Angus knew immediately he had to act quickly. He knew his friend was in grave, grave danger.
Angus spied a glass cabinet with a fire hose in the wall just next to Kelly’s apartment. He opened the cabinet door and hastily unravelled the hose, stringing the nozzle through Kelly’s door handle and tying the hose quickly but securely. Angus yanked a length of hose and pulled a Swiss Army knife from his pocket to cut the hose from the cabinet. Just then, the elevator door opened spontaneously, and Angus pulled the freshly cut hose into the back of the elevator, and tied it to the metal railing. He pushed the round plastic “1” button before jumping back out into the hall outside Kelly’s apartment. Then Angus flattened the hose on the floor, just as the elevator door closed above it. As the elevator went down, the slack came out of the hose, and pressure built on the door handle before the wood gave way with a smashing sound. Triumphant horns blared, reminiscent of the movie soundtrack of Back to the Future on a tight budget. Angus reached through the newly breached gap to open the door and find Kelly passed out on the floor. Angus fought through the stench, holding the front of his grey blazer over his face, while keeping its sleeves pushed up to his elbows. He closed the nozzle of the gas fireplace, before rushing to open a nearby window. Angus returned for his friend, hoisting Kelly’s limp body off the ground to the window for fresh air. After a pregnant pause, Kelly finally let out a cough. Angus’ shoulders dropped in relief and he put his hand on his friend’s shoulder as Kelly looked up at him sheepishly. “Happy Birthday”, was all Angus could say.
Kelly’s suicide attempt, prompted by his getting hustled out of his life’s savings, would alter the course of history by leaving an indelible mark on the English language. Once Kelly’s friends knew the reason for the attempted suicide, they brought an important visitor to the office by the name of Joanne Remmings (she happened to have just written a major research paper on bunko scams). Remmings was bookish and undeniably beautiful, with fine features beneath pulled-back blonde hair and behind impossibly large, impossibly round, and impossibly red, plastic-framed glasses. She was unashamedly excited to meet Angus and it was precisely that moment when history was made. She reached out to shake Angus’ hand.
“Hi, Joanne Remmings”, she said.
“MacGyver”, Angus replied, shaking her hand.
“Oh I’ve heard about you”, her eyes widening, “you’re the guy that does the ‘whatchamacallits’, you know, ‘macgyverisms’.”

“Macgyverisms?”, Mac asked, with a touch of smugness.

And so a word was born. And so too did the English language increase - if ever so slightly - in complexity. A neologism - a new word - was born of and on the 1980’s television show MacGyver as one of many quixotic eponyms to enter the English language. From that point forward, macgyver came to mean using materials at hand to quickly engineer an ad hoc solution to a problem.

Some thirty years later, on Thanksgiving in 2014, sixty-seven year old fisherman Ron Ingraham was convinced he was going to die. He left Kaunakakai in his sailboat that day, aiming for the nearby port of Manele Bay, a short jaunt from one Hawaiian Island to another. This was not the sort of trip Ingraham, a seasoned seaman, would think twice about. But history tells us that the seas must be respected. After a rogue wave slammed into his 25-foot sailboat Malia, Ingraham was in trouble. Both Malia’s masts were broken, and she was taking on water. Ingraham got off a distress call that set into action a Coast Guard search. But after two days’ time and thousands of square miles searched, the rescue attempt was called off.
People have survived at sea for extended periods of time. Although he doesn’t remember details, a fisherman from Mexico is thought to have survived 13 months at sea, before he was rescued some 6500 miles away in the Marshall Islands. In another incident, three teenagers from the tiny remote Pacific Islands of Tokelau once got drunk and mischievously stole a dinghy and tried to drive it to the next island. But they ran out of fuel and drifted for 41 days before a tuna-fishing boat happened to discover them, naked, blistered, and barely alive. The biggest challenge to surviving at sea is staying hydrated. Even though castaways are floating on an ocean, drinking sea water is like drinking poison. The Mexican fisherman says he ate small fish and drank birds’ blood. The Tokalauan boys collected just enough rain water on a tarp in their boat. But had the tuna-boat not seen them, they probably would have perished - mainly from dehydration - within a few days of when they were rescued.
Ron Ingraham’s ordeal was a 12-day drift, comfortable compared to the Tokalauan boys’ plight, yet it easily could have been much longer. Ingraham lives on his boat, so he had some supplies, including fishing gear. After his rescue, he told reporters he hydrated with fish. There is just enough hydration in fish eyes and fish bones for a person to survive. But Ingraham’s real break is the point of this story. According to his son’s interview, the elder Ingraham “managed to macgyver a way to make that last call.” Ron Ingraham’s radio had taken water and stopped working after the second day. When the Coast Guard could not find him, and did not hear any more signals, they gave up the search. But using material at hand (Angus MacGyver himself often used duct tape or a Swiss Army knife), Ingraham was able to fix his radio just enough to get off a mayday signal that saved his life. Some thirty years after the character Joanne Remmings first uttered the word ‘macgyverisms’ on network television, Ron Ingraham’s son found ‘macgyver’ to be the perfect word to describe his father’s life-saving improvisation.

The Ingraham story has some irony. To describe his father’s nautical improvisation, Ingraham’s son actually eschewed a synonym with nautical origins: jury rig. The elder Ingraham not only macgyvered a fix for his radio, one might have said he jury rigged one. And here lies the irony: ‘jury rig’ originated as a term for a makeshift, often improvised mast, after the original mast of a ship breaks. This term is at least as old as 1616, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. And although originally a nautical term describing an improvised mast, it later came to mean any improvised solution, not only a nautical one. In fact, Ron Ingraham did lose both masts on his sailboat, but it was not a jury rig - in the original sense of the word at least - that saved him, it was a macgyvered radio that carried his cry for help to the Coast Guard. In the thirty years since Joanne Remmings, the word macgyverism and its variants (macgyver and macgyvered) had become enough of a part of the English language that Ingraham’s son had no qualms about using it in a formal interview with the press.

So then, why is language so complicated? For that matter, why did organs like eyes evolve to be so complex? And why are most human systems - like governments, companies, computer programs, and sports leagues - so filled with complicated rules, traditions, and procedures?

All of these entities are so complicated because they are evolved. Because they have history. Above all, these entities are complicated because they are governed by compromises, in many different ways. Language, biology, and human systems are giant collections of macgyverisms - one-off solutions to immediate needs: patches and retrofits that use whatever is at hand to meet a need. Once patches and retrofits become useful and integrated, they cannot be easily erased. Just as it would be ludicrous to ban new words like macgyver in the first place (even though a group called ‘The Immortals’ try to do just this for French), it would be impractical, even impossible to go back and erase “jury rig” from peoples’ consciousness and from literary history, just because the new word “macgyver” came along. And so the new solutions stay, often alongside the old. Jury rig remains alongside macgyver (and MacGyver), and remains alongside bricolage and kluge. If people use these words, they are useful. Biology is not much different. Mutations cause new combinations of parts, jury rigged and macgyvered together. If they are useful, an organism will pass the new combination along to its offspring. Once useful and integrated, these biological traits will not easily be erased. The complexity of human systems provide many other examples to illustrate the same principles. Rules, laws, and ways of doing things become institutionalized. Complexity increases as complexity evolves.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Response to Judge Starling on Novelty

I've just experienced an interesting scientific exchange through social media. I believe much of the exchange boils down to "novelty" - an obsession of mine.

Here is my version of what happened:

1. I saw Dan Graur's post on "All of Evolutionary Biology in 12 Paragraphs" linked here, a provocative claim to distill all of evolutionary biology into 237 words. Very interesting! Do I agree?

Well, #10 stood out to me as false, especially the claim that "there is no true novelty in evolution"

Update: The full statement is here "10. Evolution cannot create something out of nothing; there is no true novelty in evolution."

I am confident that Professor Graur is not a creationist, but this sounds like the creationist logic that goes, "there is only microevolution, but no macroevolution". I am sensitive to these things, having been quoted out of context by creationists. I could imagine creationists using this quote to argue things like 'evolutionists agree that evolution cannot produce new information - only destroy it'. Well, to my mind all of this is about equating processes that occur in populations with macroevolution. Macroevolution and microevolution are not the same -- even if microevolution is involved in every step along the way.

My first response to the 12 paragraphs was this tweet:
If there is no true novelty, evolution cannot happen. Life could not evolve, photosynthesis could not evolve, eyes could not evolve. As I tweeted, macroevolution made ALL of biodiversity. Every species, every trait, every gene of every species. It simply does not follow that evolution could even occur without novelty. Evolution is a tinkerer, and biological entities get copied (at all levels of organization) and they diverge from each other. This is the source of novelty. True novelty. Before the origin of Pax genes, there may have been Paired domains, and there may have been Hox domains. But these domains came together anew (yes, by a single mutation in a single individual, originally, Prof Graur's #5) - but that WAS a novelty, a true novelty. Once that first Pax gene was fixed in that first population by (say) natural selection, evolution created a novelty. Evolution creates novelty like this every day, and has for billions of years to give us slime molds and sloths.

As far as I can tell, my original tweet went mainly unnoticed. I think because I replied to a particular tweet in a thread discussing the "12 paragraphs" tweet.

Next, someone else had the same critique I did about #10 of the 12 paragraphs. Here is what bluebear tweeted:

Dan responded, and I replied to that response as follows:

Well, there is the source of the disagreement/argument. Dan says there is no creation from nothing (creatio ex nihilo) in nature. I agree this is true IN POPULATIONS but as stated above, I do not agree this can be true for evolution AS A WHOLE.  In the tweet, I alluded to this difference by writing "don't submit to popgen hubris of no macroevo".

By that I meant I think there are aspects of macroevolution that are not explained by population genetics alone. For example, I believe the evolution of complexity and diversity are not understood by thinking only about populations. Eyes and species and photosynthesis cannot originate within a single population (usually). These are composites of multiple changes that happen across time, in multiple different populations/generations. Sure, populations change at every step by processes like natural selection. But we can't know about natural selection in that population way back that first had a Pax gene, or that first added a pigment to a photoreceptor cell in the early evolution of eyes. But we still can ask questions about the timing and order of these macroevolutionary events. These are questions outside the scope of population genetics, and within the realm of macroevolution. I personally am not that interested in documenting some change in allele frequencies. But how did complex features, like eyes evolve? How did animals come to be able to *produce* light. These are the big questions that interest me, so I am sensitive to people dismissing these questions by equating microevolution and macroevolution. Such as this tweet:
Dan then tweeted:

It is true that study of macroevolution is a lot about studies of patterns. I am fine with that - we can learn a lot from pattern. But it is an interesting question - what are the rules of macroevolution. To the question, I fairly quickly responded:

Professor Graur then asked to what I was referring, and I answered as follows:

This led to his reading the book in an impressively fast amount of time. He just as quickly dismissed the book, writing:

A bit later, he wrote a longer critique of the book on tumblr, linked here.

Now things get a bit complicated, because the tumblr post is a critique of the book, and a statement that I suck at judging books because the book sucks.

I will discuss a few of the critiques of the book, where I can. But most of the statements are just subjective, so I cannot really comment on opinions of "pretentious" or even "self-contradictory" when no specific instances are stated.

But first, I reiterate that my main reason for citing the book is that I think thesis of McShea and Brandon IS in fact a rule of macroevolution. In macroevolution, duplication happens. After duplication** happens - at all levels (protein domains, genes, networks, genomes, cell types, organs, modules, populations). After biological entities duplicate, they go their own way. This is the source of evolutionary novelty, biodiversity, and complexity. I see nothing in the tumblr post that argues against this. The tumblr post says very little of substance, in my opinion (although perhaps there is substance behind the comments; but that is not stated in the post). Even though it is a side track from the reason I cited McShea and Brandon, below, I respond to some of the critiques of the book that are written in the tumblr post.

**duplication is not a very precise word here, but it is easily understood by people who study molecular evolution because of gene duplication. What I really mean is "furcation", a word I have coined to include splitting of lineages at any level of organization. Splitting could be duplication, but it also could be fission.

Below, I respond in line (in black text) to Dan Graur's tumblr post about Biology's First Law... The text from the tumblr post is in in blue.
Todd Oakley recommended the book. I became intrigued. Now, that I finished reading it, I’m not impressed. It is a very pompous philosophical treatise
Pompousness is a rather subjective critique that is unrelated to the content of the arguments in the book.
that attempts to explain everything from the evolution of organisms to the fate of unattended picket fences by using a single law.

The unattended picket fence is just an analogy. The authors are not trying to explain the fate of the pickets with their law, which is a biological law.

It’s a law whose purpose is to find an answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything,
I don't recall that the book claims to answer Life, the Universe, and Everything. But it has been a few years since I read the book.

but as opposed to number 42 in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, McShea & Brandon’s First Law is neither amusing nor original.  

Their “First Law” states “In any evolutionary system in which there is variation and heredity, there is, in the absence of constraint, a tendency for diversity and complexity to increase.”
Yes, I believe this to be a rule, or law, of macroevolution.  This is the reason I cited the book - because Dan Graur asked for a rule of macroevolution after claiming that macroevolution is nothing but microevolution.
The mere fact that for these two authors “diversity” and “complexity” are synonymous should have been a warning. (This synonymization was referred to as asinine in several reviews.)
I believe under the definition that McShea and Brandon use for "complexity" -- which I believe is more clearly communicated as "structural complexity" -- that biodiversity is usefully lumped with complexity. More biodiversity is more different kinds of species; more structural complexity is more different kinds of parts (I like to call them components).

 Professor Graur does not state WHY this line of thought is asinine, so I cannot argue against assertions, nor calls to the "authority" of "several reviews".
However, it took me a while to understand that the two authors are either talking about entropy without mentioning the term entropy,
The authors do distinguish their ideas from entropy. I did a quick Google books search, and they mention the similarity on Page 12. There they refer to another chapter where they discuss the difference. My memory is that the biological law (the ZFEL) varies across levels of biological organization in a way that entropy does not. For example, in animals (with multi-cellular bodies) the complexity within each cell goes down (because of specialization) - even while the complexity of the wholes organisms increases.

In any event, I agree it is a useful analogy to think about entropy - after furcation, shit happens, and biological entities diverge. When divergent copies are maintained, complexity or diversity goes up.

or about variance in a random genetic drift process without saying so.

I believe the authors also equate the ZFEL to increasing variance in drift processes. I think they discussed Brownian Motion, a drift model I know about from phylogenetics.
After deciding for myself that the book is shit, I looked for opinions about the book in the literature. Professionals, it seems were not impressed.
As noted by Mohan Matthen from the University of Toronto, the two parts of the law are equally problematic.
The first part “In any evolutionary system in which there is variation and heredity, there is a tendency for diversity and complexity to increase” can be easily shown to be false.
Ummm, so if this can be easily shown to be false, has it been shown false?

The additional clause “in the absence of constraint,” in which “constraint” is undefined, is untestable and hence unscientific.

Constraint is defined.  McShea and Brandon point out that selection can constrain the ZFEL, such that complexity will not increase. The idea is that often, selection will oppose increases in complexity because more complexity will reduce fitness.

In molecular evolution, one process that constrains the ZFEL is concerted evolution. After duplication, we expect genes to go there own way - we expect the complexity of that gene family to increase. But concerted evolution keeps them similar or the same.
Other reviews, such as by Noël Bonneuil from the Institut National d'Etudes Demographiques and Kele Cable from the University of Minnesota were also quite lethal in their verdicts on the merits of the book. 
“Biology’s First Law” is clearly neither a first nor a law.
Okay, why?
Following Samuel Johnson, I can state with confidence that McShea & Brandon book is both good and original. Unfortunately, the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good. 
If you don’t believe me that none of the ideas in McShea & Brandon’s book are original, kindly read Brooks & Wiley’s 1986 Evolution as Entropy to judge for yourself. As noted previously, before making extravagant claims, kindly read the literature. 
I think this request to read Brooks and Wiley (it's actually 1988) is directed at McShea and Brandon. From a Google book search, here are a few times that M&B cite B&W:

page 11 "based on what we have said so far, some will be poised and ready to make the leap from the notion of the accumulation of accidents to the second law of thermodynamics (... Brooks and Wiley, 1988).

page 12 - " some work in the past few decades on the application of the second law to biology has been inspirational (especially Wicken, 1987; Brooks and Wiley, 1988; Salthe, 1993), and we gratefully acknowledge the intellectual debt. "

There are other citations too.

So, who needs to kindly read the literature before making extravagant claims?

And back to my reason for citing McShea and Brandon in the first place. A rule of macroevolution is that complexity increases. Perhaps this is in fact quite related to the idea of entropy. So, by stating that M&B is not original, I assume that Prof. Graur accepts the thesis of Brooks and Wiley, 1988. Does that mean he accepts my "rule" of macroevolution, that complexity and diversity happen?

I’ll finish by quoting an anonymous critic on Amazon, “The authors’ shocking ignorance of (or willful disregard of) the history of evolutionary thought is the only surprising thing in this book. I can only hope that they are as embarrassed by their own poor scholarship as they deserve to be.”
Simply asserting and accusing, without backing up those assertions or accusations is the epitome of poor scholarship. The one specific example of poor scholarship above (Brooks and Wiley) did not hold. It was cited multiple times by McShea and Brandon.
There are amazing scientists out there that I don’t trust with books, movie, or restaurant recommendations. Yes, it is difficult to reconcile the Todd Oakley, who conducted such groundbreaking studies in molecular evolution, as his “The origins of novel protein interactions during animal opsin evolution,” with the Todd Oakley who was greatly impressed by a very bad book.
Thank you for the back handed compliment.

I will say in response that I very much respect Professor Graur. I learned molecular evolution from his text book! Once I asked him via Twitter about radical amino acid changes. A couple days later (or less maybe) he responded with a detailed review on his tumblr page. That was an amazingly collegial and scholarly thing to do! I was greatly impressed.

Today, it is hard for me to reconcile that Dan Graur with the Dan Graur who wrote this mainly content free, yet still blustery, critique of a book that I respect, written by authors whom I respect.

Anyway, the latter Todd Oakley owes me $14.04 and half a pound of candy as compensation for his book recommendation. 
I'd rather use my $14.04 to buy each of us a beverage (and a pound of candy), and discuss all this the next time we meet in person.

In the end, I think it ironic that all our disagreement comes down to our view of what 'novelty' means. I believe that novelty must be rampant in evolution - even true novelty. Novelty can come from new combinations of existing biological elements. So to can novelty and originality in scholarship come from new combinations of existing ideas. This is how I read McShea and Brandon. Many of the ideas I had seen or heard before - partly because M&B are professors where I was a graduate student. But by putting many ideas together in a new way,  namely by being bravely and ambitiously general, I found the book Biology's First Law to be a novelty. A true novelty.

Evolution cannot create something out of nothing; there is no
true novelty in

Friday, January 1, 2016

SICB 2016 Schedule

Here are some #SICB2016 presentations I have marked after key word searches. What great ones am I missing?

Session/Paper#TimeRoomAuthor 1Title
Monday, Jan. 4 22-1 10:15 C125/126 SCHNITZLER, CEGenomics of Hydractinia: A Cnidarian Model for Regeneration, Allorecognition, and Developmental Biology 
Monday, Jan. 4 33-5 14:30 C125/126 VON DASSOW, MThe echinoid blastula: linking biomechanics to development-environment interactions 
Monday, Jan. 4 33-6 14:45 C125/126 SERVETNICK, MDCRISPR/Cas9-mediated excision of the brachyury gene disrupts endoderm development in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis
Monday, Jan. 4 P1-143 15:30 Exhibit Hall A DONOHUE, M.W.Behavioral and molecular evidence for opsin-based extraocular photoreception in stomatopod crustaceans 
Monday, Jan. 4 P1-157 15:30 Exhibit Hall A ARUL NAMBI RAJAN, ANeural Determinants of Behavior in an Organism without a Nervous System 
Monday, Jan. 4 P1-162 15:30 Exhibit Hall A PRICE, C.L.The genetics of the visual system of two species of pupfishes (genus Cyprinodon) 
Monday, Jan. 4 P1-147 15:30 Exhibit Hall A PICCIANI, N.Light modulated cnidocyte firing predates the evolution of eyes in Cnidaria (Metazoa) 
Monday, Jan. 4 P1-144 15:30 Exhibit Hall A NOTAR, JCA Comparative Study of Sea Urchin Visual Ecology  
Monday, Jan. 4 P1-145 15:30 Exhibit Hall A MILLER, H.V.Pupillary responses in scallops 
Monday, Jan. 4 P1-78 15:30 Exhibit Hall A SIMMONS, SMesoglea and Muscle in Cubozoan Jellyfish Carybdea marsupialis and Tripedalia cystophora 
Monday, Jan. 4 P1-22 15:30 Exhibit Hall A MUNRO, CExploring the evolution of functional specialization in siphonophores using RNAseq 
Monday, Jan. 4 P1-148 15:30 Exhibit Hall A SWAFFORD, A.J.Gain and Loss of Sensory Modalities Alter Guidance of Allomyces Zoospores 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 S4-2 08:00 C123 PORTER, M.L.Beyond the eye: extraocular opsin evolution 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 S4-3 08:30 C123 COLLEY, N.J.Photoreception in Phytoplankton 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 40-4 08:45 B114 DALTON, B ECoexpression of opsins in each cone class spectrally tunes regions of the retina to distinct parts of the visual field 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 S4-4 09:00 C123 OAKLEY, THOpsins without eyes – precursors or derivatives? 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 40-6 09:15 B114 FAULKES, Z.Eyes under the beach: the visual system of sand crabs (Lepidopa benedicti
Tuesday, Jan. 5 S4-6 10:30 C123 KINGSTON, ACNExtraocular opsins in skin and nervous systems of aquatic animals 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 S4-7 11:00 C123 BATTELLE, B-AOcular and extraocular photosensitivity and opsin expression in the American horseshoe crabLimulus polyphemus, a chelicerate arthropod. 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 S4-8 11:30 C123 BOK, M.J.Looking with gills: The function and evolution of fan worm branchial photoreceptors 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 S4-9 13:30 C123 WALKER, Marquis T.A mouse homolog of Drosophila RDGB functions in ipRGC dim light activation 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 68-1 13:45 B118/119 DALY, MThe tree’s the thing: phylogeny as a way of understanding the diversity of venom in sea anemones 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 67-1 14:00 B117 LARSON, P.G.Evaluating taxonomic characters of Anthopleura and other sea anemones in a molecular phylogenetic context 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 S4-10 14:00 C123 SCHMIDT, T.M.New roles for ganglion cell photoreceptors 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 67-2 14:15 B117 MACRANDER, JA High-Throughput Investigation into the Tissue Specific Venom Composition and Differential Gene Expression in Three Species of Sea Anemone 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 67-3 14:30 B117 GOODHEART, J.A.Phylogenomics of Cladobranchia (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 S4-11 14:30 C123 SPEISER, D.I.Eyes most numerous: extracephalic visual systems in molluscs 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 67-4 14:45 B117 CHANG, J.The tempo of body shape evolution in ray-finned fishes: bringing morphology into the “phenomic era” with crowdsourced morphometrics 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 S4-12 15:00 C123 JOHNSEN, S.What Next? Unanswered questions about extraocular photoreception and how we might answer them  
Tuesday, Jan. 5 P2-136 15:30 Exhibit Hall A STABILE, F. A.Identification of four genes involved in the development of feathers but not scales in birds 
Tuesday, Jan. 5 P2-156 15:30 Exhibit Hall A MURPHY, P.J.Regional Genetic Variation of Two Ephemeral Pool Crustacean Species: Implications for Visual System Plasticity or Local Adaptation 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 74-1 08:00 B112 BABONIS, L.S.Seeing without eyes: Opsins and the evolution of photodetection in basal metazoans 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 79-2 08:15 B118/119 MCCULLOCH, KJPhotoreceptor Cell Sensitivity and Sexual Dimorphism in the Compound Eye of the ButterflyHeliconius erato 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 74-4 08:45 B112 MASON, B.M.Coral opsins: photosensitivity and partial characterization of five opsins from Acropora millepora 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 74-5 09:00 B112 SERB, J.M.Expression and spectral analysis of two Gq-opsins from the mantle and the eyes of the scallop Placopecten magellanicus  
Wednesday, Jan. 6 74-6 09:15 B112 FAGGIONATO, D.Spectra analysis of Gq-opsins from four scallop species 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 74-7 09:30 B112 BRANDLEY, NDo warning signals exploit an evolutionary constraint on insect visual acuity? 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 85-1 10:15 B112 THOMAS, K.N.The perks of being cock-eyed: Orientation and visual characteristics of histioteuthid squids 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 85-2 10:30 B112 HOLT, A.L.Light guides and open water camouflage in Galiteuthis 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 85-3 10:45 B112 CAVES, EMVisual acuity in fish: the effects of eye morphology, environment, and ecology 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 85-4 11:00 B112 JOHNSEN, S.Another beautiful hypothesis slain by an ugly fact: Polarization vision does not increase the sighting distance of silvery fish 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 85-5 11:15 B112 DODSON, TOrigins of Polydispersity In Cephalopod Photonic Systems - Are Squids Masters of RNA Editing? 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 96-2 13:45 B112 EMERLING, C.A.Spectral shifts of mammalian ultraviolet-sensitive pigments (SWS1) are associated with eye length and photic niche evolution 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 92-3 14:00 A104 CORYELL, R.L.Phylogeographic patterns in the Philippine archipelago drive symbiont diversity in the bobtail squid-Vibrio mutualism 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 101-4 14:15 B118/119 MOROZ, LLCan Synapses Evolve Independently? 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 S8-10 14:30 C124 LEWIS, C.Differential expression of genes implicated in venom, vision and sex in the aggregating box jellyfish Alatina alata 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 P3-198 15:30 Exhibit Hall A LIN, C.Neural organization of the optic lobes in the two midband-row stomatopod Squilla empusa 
Wednesday, Jan. 6 P3-16 15:30 Exhibit Hall A STERN, D.B.Comparative Vision Gene Expression in Cave Adapted Crayfish 
Thursday, Jan. 7 115-1 10:15 A107-109 ADAMS, DKEvolution of the neurosensory system mediates gain and loss of phenotypic plasticity 
Thursday, Jan. 7 114-4 11:00 A105 KELLY, MWAdaptation to heat stress reduces phenotypic and gene expression plasticity in a marine copepod 
Thursday, Jan. 7 116-6 11:30 B110-111 SCHWEIKERT, LERed Fish, Blue Fish: Wavelength Sensitivity of the Marine Fish Retina Adjusts to Transient Changes in Environmental Light Color 
Thursday, Jan. 7 115-7 11:30 A107-109 KOENIG, KMMaking an Eye: Optic Vesicle Morphogenesis in the Cephalopod Doryteuthis pealeii 
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