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According to the Neoplatonic classification of Aristotle’s writings, it has often been claimed that his biological works were excluded from his physical writings, and do not form a part of Neoplatonic school curricula. In this paper, I shall challenge this view, arguing that there are reasonable indications that the Neoplatonists regarded most of Aristotle’s biological works (apart from the History of Animals) as a proper part of his natural philosophy, and as works which deserved serious study.
This chapter demonstrates ways in which Darwin challenged aspects of Enlightenment thought, including racial and sexual hierarchies, gendered stereotypes and androcentric perspectives. In doing so, he called into question Cartesian dualism—the separation of mind and body—and its colonial implications in configuring the body as unruly and in need of subjection to a scientific control that was masculine and European. Situating Darwin’s work in relation to contemporary political debates over race, slavery, and sex, it explores the forceful argument against innatism presented by Darwinian evolution, which undid biologistic arguments for biologically determined roles or behaviors, and shows that while he is often assumed to have occupied a separate and opposing camp to John Stuart Mill, which foregrounded biology rather than ethics, Darwin and Mill in fact shared notable common ground. It argues that, in a climate emergency and at a time of devastating and rising global poverty, Darwin’s strong sense of interdependence and interrelations counters authoritarian disregard for the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
This chapter traces some of the lines of descent that race has followed since Darwin’s Origin of Species. Far from his work putting an end to the Species Question (whether human races constituted separate and unchanging species), race flourished not only in “social Darwinism” and eugenics, but also in various academic disciplines, law, social policy, and everyday life. The chapter discusses how race served as an organizing concept within natural history and remained such in the emerging sciences of life: in biology and sociology; in critical race theory’s uncritical use of scientific evidence that challenges racial categories; and in the way Darwin’s intervention into “the truth of race” remains central to notions of diaspora, homeland, identity, and the structural racialism of everyday life, even as his work is invoked to naturalize stereotyped racial phenotypes and to support racialized technologies, especially in robotics and applications of artificial intelligence.
Ever wondered why your life and health can sometimes be so hard to control? Or why it seems so easy for other people? Mark Hanson and Lucy Green draw on their years of experience as scientists and educators to cut through the usual information on genetics and lifestyle to reveal the secrets of early development which start to make each of us unique, during our first 1,000 days from the moment of conception. Some surprising discoveries, based on little-known new research, show how events during our first 1,000 days make each of us who we are and explain how we control our bodies, processes that go way beyond just the genes which we inherited. Provoking new ways of thinking about being parents, this book empowers individuals and society to give the next generation the gift of a good start to life and future health.
Glyphosate-resistant weeds are difficult to manage and can serve as hosts for pests that threaten cultivated crops. Chrysodeixis includens (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is one of the main polyphagous pests of soybean in Brazil that can benefit from weeds' presence during season and off-season. Despite its pest status, little is known about C. includens survival and development on alternative hosts, including those resistant to glyphosate. Therefore, we assessed the biology, reproduction, preference, and survival at different feeding periods of C. includens on seven glyphosate-resistant weeds (Sumatran fleabane, Italian ryegrass, sourgrass, goosegrass, smooth pigweed, wild poinsettia, hairy beggarticks) commonly found in Brazilian agroecosystems, under laboratory conditions. Our results showed that C. includens survival and reproduction were similar on soybean and wild poinsettia. Survival and reproduction were lower on smooth pigweed and hairy beggarticks. Also, these plants prolonged the larval stage. Larvae did not pupate when fed on sourgrass, goosegrass, Italian ryegrass, and Sumatran fleabane. However, on Sumatran fleabane their biomass was higher. The mean generation time was lower on wild poinsettia. This weed was preferred to soybean. An antifeeding factor was observed on Sumatran fleabane. Larvae fed for 11 days on soybean, wild poinsettia and smooth pigweed developed into pupae. In agricultural systems, farmers must pay attention to the management of these weeds, especially wild poinsettia, smooth pigweed, and hairy beggarticks, to interrupt the cycle of this pest, since these plants can serve as main sources of infestation for the soybean crop.
Although Joyeuxiella pasqualei is frequently detected in cats from Mediterranean Europe, information on its biology is still scarce. This cestode is relatively less frequently reported in dogs, possibly because it is often misdiagnosed with the better-known Dipylidium caninum. The occurrence of J. pasqualei proglottids in a dog living in a closed environment triggered us to delve into the biology of this cestode by collecting biological samples from lizards and a road-killed cat. Two reptile species, Podarcis siculus (Lacertidae), and Tarentola mauritanica (Geckonidae) were also collected in the garden and its surroundings. In addition, experimental infections with eggs obtained from gravid proglottids were performed in laboratory mice, and Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) beetles. Proglottids from the dog's feces and adult cestodes detected at necroscopy of a cat were morphologically identified as J. pasqualei. Two out of 13 T. mauritanica collected in the garden had natural infections of J. pasqualei cysts in the liver and attached to the intestine. All P. siculus lizards and experimentally infected rodents and beetles were negative. DNA sequences obtained from J. pasqualei showed the highest nucleotide similarities with Versteria sp., Echinococcus sp., Raillietina sonini, Taenia polyacantha and D. caninum. Data herein provided show the inability of rodents to become infected by direct ingestion of gravid proglottids, suggesting a need for an invertebrate first intermediate host in the life cycle. Thus, more research study is advocated to better understand the biology of J. pasqualei such as its first intermediate host and its mechanism of transmission in reptiles and rodents.
This article examines how Kant’s conceptualizations of natural history and teleological judgement shape his understanding of human difference and race. I argue that the teleological framework encasing Kant’s racial theory implies constraints on the capacity of non-whites to make moral progress. While commentators tend to approach Kant’s racial theory in relation to his political theory, his late-life cosmopolitanism, and his treatments (or non-treatments) of colonialism, empire and slavery, the problem I focus on here is that race is itself only intelligible in relation to a teleological natural history limiting certain races’ capacities to engage in humanity’s moral vocation.
This chapter sets out the central argument of this book – that personal bioinformation has critical roles to play in our construction of self-narratives that are capable of remaining coherent and inhabitable when confronted by our embodied and socially embedded experiences and of supporting us in making sense of and navigating these experiences. It suggests that our lives and experiences are inescapably those of embodied beings and outlines what is entailed by this claim. It proposes that any satisfactory account of narrative self-constitution must accommodate the significance of our embodiment as the context in which we construct our self-narratives and as the source of both narrative contents and limits upon unfettered self-definition. From these premises, this chapter argues that personal bioinformation – to the extent that it provides reliable and meaningful insights into our bodily and biological states, capacities, and relationships – can provide vital constitutive and interpretive tools for the interpretation and construction of our embodied self-narratives. This discussion distinguishes its position from suggestions that personal bioinformation gets us closer to narrative ‘truth’ and responds to concerns that proposing a narrative role for bioinformation commits us to the view that our identities are defined by our biology or bodies as objects.
Future biologists require a profound understanding of leading biological concepts, mechanisms, methods, experimental design and data analysis on top of subject-specific expertise. Early and continued exposure to undergraduate research (UR) formats offers a central key to train the next generation of biologists, to drive student motivation and to facilitate early career decisions. UR formats can be classified at different pedagogical levels. At the highest level, students conduct their own independent research and create new knowledge. Course-based research experiences (CUREs) are suitable for larger groups and produce outcomes similar to research internships but require increased creativity on the side of faculty, depending on the respective framework and group size. To implement UR represents a challenge for faculty, as roles change from teaching toward mentoring, increasing the workload. Nevertheless, biology offers a wide variety of anchors for UR formats that are most suitable as an active learning element in biology education to balances pedagogical and research goals and increase student motivation.
Increasing quantities of information about our health, bodies, and biological relationships are being generated by health technologies, research, and surveillance. This escalation presents challenges to us all when it comes to deciding how to manage this information and what should be disclosed to the very people it describes. This book establishes the ethical imperative to take seriously the potential impacts on our identities of encountering bioinformation about ourselves. Emily Postan argues that identity interests in accessing personal bioinformation are currently under-protected in law and often linked to problematic bio-essentialist assumptions. Drawing on a picture of identity constructed through embodied self-narratives, and examples of people's encounters with diverse kinds of information, Postan addresses these gaps. This book provides a robust account of the source, scope, and ethical significance of our identity-related interests in accessing – and not accessing – bioinformation about ourselves, and the need for disclosure practices to respond appropriately. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
Junglerice [Echinochloa colona (L.) Link] is increasing its prevalence in eastern Australia by adapting to Australia’s changing climatic conditions and conservation agricultural systems and by evolving resistance to glyphosate. Information is limited on the growth and seed production dynamics of E. colona when it interferes with mung bean [Vigna radiata (L). R. Wilczek], a major potential export crop for eastern Australia. This field study examined the interference of E. colona in mung bean for two summer seasons (2020 and 2021) at Gatton, QLD. Different infestation levels (0, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32 plants m−2) of E. colona were assessed for their potential to cause yield reductions in mung bean. Seed yield of mung bean was highest in the weed-free plots (2,767 kg ha−1) and declined by 20%, 27%, 34%, and 43% at weed infestation levels of 4, 8, 16, and 32 plants m−2, respectively. Echinochloa colona biomass in mung bean varied from 11 to 137 g m−2 as weed density increased from 2 to 32 plants m−2. Based on a three-parameter hyperbolic rectangular decay model, crop yield loss was 52% and 57%, respectively, when weed density and weed biomass approached maximum. Echinochloa colona at the highest density (32 plants m−2) produced a maximum of 15,140 seeds m−2, and this seed production was reduced by 50% at a weed density of 10 plants m−2. Echinochloa colona plants retained 63% to 68% seeds at mung bean maturity, indicating a great opportunity for harvest weed seed control. This study suggests that a high infestation of E. colona in mung bean fields could cause a substantial yield loss and increase the weed seedbank.
Anti-scientific misinformation has become a serious problem on many fronts, including vaccinations and climate change. One of these fronts is the persistence of anti-evolutionism, which has recently been given a superficially professional gloss in the form of the intelligent design movement. Far from solely being of interest to researchers in biology, anti-evolutionism must be recognized as part of a broader campaign with a conservative religious and political agenda. Much of the rhetorical effectiveness of anti-evolutionism comes from its reliance on seemingly precise mathematical arguments. This book, the first of its kind to be written by a mathematician, discusses and refutes these arguments. Along the way, it also clarifies common misconceptions about both biology and mathematics. Both lay audiences and professionals will find the book to be accessible and informative.
Chapter 2 argues that although the Analytic of the Teleological Power of Judgment offers an argument for the necessity of teleological judgments of organisms, Kant is ultimately interested in the conceptual purposiveness of nature as a whole. He constructs an argument from the organism to this conclusion, because it allows him to assimilate characteristic features of a dialectic, specifically the fact that it ensnares ordinary understanding. This serves the end of showing that although the principle of the purposiveness of nature is a transcendental principle of reason, employing it is free of the sort of contradictions that typically beset reason. It has a legitimate and indeed necessary role to play in experience. The chapter further argues that the discussion of the methodology of biology is of great philosophical interest. For Kant all causal explanations are mechanistic and he develops a unique model for mechanistic explanations of the processes through which organisms produce or organize themselves. Teleological judgments of organic nature are not therefore a threat to the project of the comprehensive mechanistic explanation of the natural world. The chapter demonstrates this by examining Kant’s views of contemporary theories of generation, Blumenbach, his papers on human races and his evolutionary speculation.
Dental cementum, enveloping the tooth root and buried under the gingiva, was the last of the dental mineralized tissues to be discovered. Details of human cementum structure were not revealed until the advent of compound microscopes and invention of advanced histology techniques. The function of cementum in tooth attachment was not appreciated until nearer the end of the 19th century, when the anatomy of the periodontal complex was more fully realized. There are several unanswered questions and controversies remaining about cementum biology, however, there is no question about its critical role in tooth retention and oral health, and by extension, in overall health and quality of life. In this introductory chapter, we will summarize current knowledge of cementum biology, including cementum formation, types, composition, and clinical aspects necessary when employing and interpreting TCA measurements.
The rise and ease of genome-editing technologies, like CRISPR, has ushered in communities of “biohackers,” do-it-yourself enthusiasts for molecular genetics who perform experiments outside traditional institutional laboratory settings. Conventional wisdom posits that such research is beyond traditional modes of regulation or legal enforcement and that new biohacking laws are needed. This view, however, is incorrect; both public and private regulators currently possess–and in other contexts, use–many of the tools needed to regulate the safety and ethics of biohacking. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for example, has expansive authority over “biologics,” which includes many of the biohacking kits currently in use. Patent holders and community laboratories similarly have the power to impose ethical and safety restrictions on biohacking activities. Rather than new laws or stiffer enforcement, regulators should do what they do for other industries: actively engage with the community to educate and promote the advancement of technology.
Aging can be described as the life-long accumulation of damage to the tissues, cells, and molecules of the body. One of the most widely used markers to study biological aging is telomere length. Telomeres are non-coding DNA structures located at the ends of chromosomes that become progressively shorter with age. Research in the past decade showed that persons with psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder on average have shorter telomeres, which might help explain the high levels of somatic morbidity in these patients. While telomere length is an elegant aging biomarker, reflecting a biological process in most living species, there are also some challenges. In human studies, the between-person variation is large and shortened telomeres showed not to be specific to psychiatric diagnosis but rather to a multitude of psychological and physiological stressors. Telomere length might therefore not be a diagnostic marker. It could, nonetheless, be an interesting target for pharmacological, psychological or exercise treatment. If persons with psychiatric disorders age biologically faster, to what extend can this be process be halted or even reversed with successful treatment? Other opportunities and obstacles of studying telomere length as a biological aging marker in psychiatry will be discussed in this session.
The interest taken by Surrealists in alchemy has been well known since the late 1940s, but knowledge of their preoccupation with modern science is more recent. This chapter observes the Surrealist penchant for premodern, occultist epistemologies before focusing on their take up of modern physics in the early 1920s. The theory of relativity (1905 and 1915–16) and developments in quantum mechanics (1922–7) were then undergoing popularization. Apart from popular articles in newspapers/journals, this occurred partly through physicists’ own writings and partly through the philosophy of science. This chapter indicates the importance to Surrealism of the writings of the French philosopher of science, Gaston Bachelard. It also features a case study of the work of German physicist Pascual Jordan whose attempt to extend the findings of quantum mechanics to biology was known to Max Ernst and used by the Surrealists to justify the rejection of positivism. So modern physics became a means of retrospectively comprehending the Surrealists’ turn towards automatism and Ernst’s own natural history incursions. His response to Jordan’s writings offers an alternative way of reading his work.
Sea of Cortez is part travelogue and part marine biology textbook that Steinbeck coauthored with his friend Ed Ricketts. This chapter examines Steinbeck’s interest in science, in species, and in the possibility of a shift in human consciousness offered by his encounter with Mexico. Placing Steinbeck’s book in the context of theories of the borderland and ideas of the Global South, together with his education in biology and “non-teleological thinking” gained from Ricketts, we uncover Steinbeck’s ecological vision that rejects progressive, goal-directed thinking. Sea of Cortez imagines an ideal of humanity, in harmony with its environment, found in moments of deep observation and passive description of other species. This descriptive method enables a complete understanding of other animals, an ecological sense of species interrelationship, and the possibility for new ways of being on the planet in the face of human extinction. The chapter ends by tracing Steinbeck’s understanding of Mexico’s indigenous population, which offers the potential of a holisitc, non-teleological existence, even as Steinbeck cannot fully transcend the barriers and prejudices of race.
This chapter offers an overview of the reception of Aristotle’s biology in antiquity and beyond. It argues that Aristotle’s biology remained largely at the margins of the philosophical tradition even after the so-called return to Aristotle in the first century BC. The relative lack of engagement with Aristotle’s biological works reflects a change in the philosophical agenda. While Aristotle placed great emphasis on the philosophical dimension of his biology, his immediate successors considered biology an expendable part of their agenda. For a full appreciation of what Aristotle achieved in the field of biology, we have to go beyond antiquity. The reappropriation of Aristotle’s biological writings was a gradual process that began in the Arabic world and continued in the Latin world.
Aristotle's voluminous writings on animals have often been marginalised in the history of philosophy. Providing the first full-length comprehensive account of Aristotle's biology, its background, content and influence, this Companion situates his study of living nature within his broader philosophy and theology and differentiates it from other medical and philosophical theories. An overview of empiricism in Aristotle's Historia Animalium is followed by an account of the general methodology recommended in the Parts of Animals. An account of the importance of Aristotle's teleological perspective and the fundamental metaphysics of biological entities provides a basis for understanding living capacities, such as nutrition, reproduction, perception and self-motion, in his philosophy. The importance of Aristotle's zoology to both his ethics and political philosophy is highlighted. The volume explores in detail the changing interpretations and influences of Aristotle's biological works from antiquity to modern philosophy of science. It is essential for both students and scholars.