Navigation Links
'Stupid strategies' could be best for the genes
Date:2/28/2011

Blindly copying what your parents did no matter how stupid it may seem could be the best strategy for the long-term success of your genes, according to research by the Universities of Exeter and Bristol.

The findings of the study, published in Ecology Letters, show that apparently mindless survival strategies such as the long-distance migration of many animals to breed at the place they were born may not be as impractical as they appear.

Using mathematical models, researchers compared the evolutionary success of straightforward copying strategies with that of more dynamic approaches that focused on adapting to new information to make key lifestyle decisions.

Dr Sasha Dall, from Exeter's Centre for Ecology and Conservation in Cornwall, said: "From an individual perspective, sometimes sticking to what your parents did may seem a ridiculously stupid thing to do, especially when they can be out of touch with current events. However, it's a different story when you look at it from the perspective of your genes.

"What we actually found is, in certain circumstances, it can be a more effective method of ensuring long-term survival of your genes than more nuanced strategies. So, surprisingly, this kind of mindless strategy can actually be more effective than the more sophisticated alternative of adjusting to changes you detect in your environment."

The conclusion centres around what they are calling the 'multiplier effect'. This states that if you are in exactly the right environment for your genotype, you will thrive and breed. So, over generations, more and more individuals will find themselves in conditions to which they are suited if they just do what their parents did.

Those in the wrong place for their genotypes will not do well and others who behave like them will leave fewer and fewer descendents leaving those being born in the right places to dominate the population.

Professor John McNamara from the Bristol's School of Mathematics added: "The sheer fact you are alive is a big clue, because your parents must have got it right. If you follow their lead, you should get it right too.'

"Using a mathematical model, we've shown this is more successful than the alternative approach of adjusting behaviour to current conditions when the environment changes a bit, but not too much, between generations, and where there is a choice of both good and bad places to be.

"When you try to adapt to your environment, you can make mistakes which could prove costly or even fatal. Also, this approach may require a lot of time and effort which again could limit the success it brings on an evolutionary basis."

This conclusion explains some of the seemingly impractical lifestyles seen in nature. For example, many sea turtles return to the same beach they were born on to lay their eggs, even though they swim past perfectly good beaches on the way.

While this may not seem like an efficient strategy, in the right conditions it can be a successful way of ensuring the long-term survival of your 'selfish' genes.

Dr Dall said: "This may not seem very smart, but those turtles are actually sticking to the safest bet there could be the spot where they know their parents successfully gave birth to them.

"We're not saying that this works for every species or all of the time, but it does shed a bit of light on this interesting area of animal behaviour and evolutionary biology."


'/>"/>

Contact: Daniel Williams
d.d.williams@exeter.ac.uk
44-139-272-2062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. "How Stupid Do They Think We Are?" --- Band Releases New Anthem in Support of Popular Citizens' Resistance
2. Penn study on skin formation suggests strategies to fight skin cancer
3. Elsevier/MC Strategies and AORN launch perioperative nursing skills collection
4. Clinical trials demonstrate effective weight loss strategies for obese and overweight adults
5. Study: Mental illness stigma entrenched in American culture; new strategies needed
6. Targeted strategies needed to find, prevent and treat breast cancer among Mexican-origin women
7. Integrated Healthcare Strategies Senior Consultant Signs Book Deal with American College of Healthcare Executives
8. Sex, drugs and moral goals: Penn study of reproductive strategies and recreational drug use
9. Medical Practice Marketing Strategies and Advertising Don't Mix
10. Nationwide Tax Solutions Rebrands Itself as Tax Strategies
11. New strategies to improve treatment and avert heart failure in children
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Russ DiGilio ... the first national #QuackGivesBack campaign which supported local breast cancer organizations during National ... Quack Gives Back initiative, and we’re very pleased with the participation ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... With the increasing demand for dental ... Your Mouth?” (WIYM) campaign to inform dentists and patients about the safety issues related ... and prosthetic market in the U.S. is projected to reach $6.4 billion in 2018 ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Catalent Pharma Solutions, ... biologics and consumer health products, today announced that it had joined the Pharmaceutical ... a non-profit organization to unite pharmaceutical and healthcare companies that share a vision ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... Care Act. Dr. Botelho advocates for the mass media launching of story movements ... ongoing opportunities to share their unfortunate experiences; such a movement can generate the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Peter Zipp Insurance, an ... around the greater Phoenix metropolitan region, is announcing a charity event to provide ... the Homeless Youth Connection is to promote community awareness of the ongoing needs ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... their offering. ... The global chromatography market to grow at a ... Market 2016-2020, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with ... growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , December 8, 2016 ... "Sugar-Based Excipients Market by Product (Actual Sugars, Sugar ... (Filler & Diluent, Tonicity Agents), Formulation (Oral, Topical, ... MarketsandMarkets, the market has witnessed healthy growth during ... at a CAGR of 4.3% between 2016 and ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Agenovir Corporation, a ... novel antiviral therapeutics, today announced that it appointed ... officer and a member of the board of ... executive with a deep background in both founding ... founder of Agenovir, co-president of Chan Zuckerberg  Biohub ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: