Functional interpretations of Neanderthal introgression

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Multiple Choice and True False Questions (2 points each max) [THIS SECTION IS WORTH 20 POINTS MAXIMUM]
True or False? Functional interpretations of Neanderthal introgression into modern human lineages suggests that some proportion of this admixture was non-adaptive.
True statement
False statement

c., d., e. not an answer

2.Why are genetic polymorphisms related to severe mental disorders retained in the gene pool of a population? In many cases, elements of shared vulnerability include cognitive disinhibition (which allows more stimuli into conscious awareness), an attentional style driven by novelty salience, and neural hyperconnectivity that may increase associations among disparate stimuli. These vulnerabilities interact with superior meta-cognitive protective factors, such as high IQ, increased working memory capacity, and enhanced cognitive flexibility, to enlarge the range and depth of stimuli available in conscious awareness to be manipulated and combined to form novel and original ideas.This could account for some of the observed persistence in artistic creativity cross-culturally and throughout modern human evolution? So, of the following statements, which has NOT been reported and/or is inconsistent with the above stated correlation?

A possible answer is that these genetic variations for severe mental disorders/creativity may have a positive impact on group psychological functioning since the biological determinants conferring risk for psychopathology interact with protective cognitive factors to enhance creative ideation.
Highly creative people have demonstrated elevated risk for certain forms of psychopathology, including mood disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and alcoholism..
The highest creative achievements and creative-thinking scores were found in people who carried the T/T genotype for polymorphism of the promoter region of the neuregulin 1 gene (SNP8NRG243177/rs6994992), which was previously shown to be related to psychosis risk and altered prefrontal activation.
Individuals with severe mental disorders coupled with high creativity may have been highly valued throughout our species evolution and their survival supplemented (and reproduction facilitated) by more usual individuals in the population.
Individuals with severe mental disorders and high intellectual and academic achievement are rarely empowered in human societies; their biological fitness overall is close to zero.


Variation in taste sensitivity is undoubtedly genetic in origin. Orally, humans perceive a variety of chemical compounds found in food: e.g., bitter, sweet, umami, salty, sour, and others. PTC is a compound whose taste has been mapped to chromosome 5p15. What is considered the adaptive value of human biodiversity in taste thresholds?
PTC and the Kell blood group may be linked; therefore taste perception (of this compound) may be associated with disease resistance
Since many cruciferous vegetables contain bitter compounds that are also toxic to the thyroid, their detection may provide some selective advantage since reduced thyroid function is associated with lower fertility.
Plants that contain certain compounds may have coevolved with the taste perceptions of early primates and served as signal to regulate plant consumption.
All answers provided are plausible (a. through c.).
None of the answers have anything to do with human taste thresholds in the rationale behind variation in taste sensitivity (answers a. through d.).


True or False? As discussed in class, one of the most promising developments to come from the study of human genes and proteins has been the identification of potential new drugs for the treatment of disease (pharmacogenomics). This relies on genome and proteome information to identify proteins associated with a disease, which computer software can then use as targets for new drugs.
Both statements are true.
Both statements are false.
Statement one is true but statement two is false
Statement one is false but statement two is true
not an answer


Over the last 10 years, biologists have turned to studying the epigenetic marks which represent an addition to the genetic templates without changing the DNA nucleotide sequences, but these are carried through to the next generations. Many types of epigenetic processes have been identified. The epigenetic marks are natural but WHAT happens when these marks are wrong?
The genome just ignores them.
The proteome makes up for any deficiencies.
That part of the epigenome is deleted.
They are turned off by correction mechanisms in the genome.
They can have very serious health and behavioral effects.


In the context of our class discussion of the epigenome, which statement best explains the biological meaning of the term “Reproduction of Social Disadvantage”
A mother’s cultural practices can influence patterns of gene expression that can put her, her child, and her grandchildren at biological risk and social disadvantage.
Smoking by pregnant women affects her temporarily but may cause her child to smoke later in life.
The practice of habitual smoking is genetic in origin.
Cigarettes costs resources, so smoking mothers place themselves in socioeconomic risk and diminish the resources available for their offspring to inherit.
Not an answer


The EDAR gene carries one of the most highly differentiated SNPs in the genome: Val370Ala nonsynomyous variant (rs3827760). This variant:
has a very high frequency in native Australians
shows no contemporary geographical variation
is the result of negative selection
is a consequence of genetic drift
appears to be the product of positive selection for the phenotypic traits it codes for


Migration is part of the hominin ethogram. Of the following, which is NOT CONSIDERED one of the three highly research phases of migration in overall human evolution?
Migrations of extinct members of the genus Homo, such as Homo erectus and later the Neanderthals, after 2.5 million years ago, within and out of Africa and through Eurasia;
Migrations of ancestral modern humans (H. sapiens) through most of the world, including Oceania and the Americas, between 120,000 and 10,000 years ago;
Migrations of Neanderthals to Australia and Tasmania and later into Micronesia and Polynesia;
Migrations of farmers, herders, and boat builders in many separate groups, across most oceans and in all continents except Antarctica, during the past 10,000 years
Not an answer

9.True or False?G6PD Deficiency is a hereditary abnormality in the activity of an erythrocyte (red blood cell) enzyme. This enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD), is essential for assuring a normal life span for red blood cells, and for oxidizing processes. This enzyme deficiency may provoke the sudden destruction of red blood cells and lead to hemolytic anemia with jaundice following the intake of fava beans, certain legumes and various drugs. Loss of function of dimeric glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) represents the most common inborn error of metabolism throughout the world affecting an estimated 400 million people.

Only the first statement is true. All others are false.
Only the first and the second statements are true. The remainder are false.
None of the statements presented are true. All are false.
All of the statements presented are true. None are false.
Only the last statement is true. All preceding statements in question 9 are false.


True or False? Natural selection shapes patterns of genetic variation among individuals, populations, and species, and it does so differentially across genomes. The field of population genomics provides a comprehensive genome-scale view of the action of selection, even beyond traditional model organisms. However, even with nearly complete genomic sequence information, our ability to detect the signature of selection on specific genomic regions depends on choosing experimental and analytical tools appropriate to the biological situation. For example, processes that occur at different timescales, such as sorting of standing genetic variation, mutation-selection balance, or fixed interspecific divergence, have different consequences for genomic patterns of variation. Inappropriate experimental or analytical approaches may fail to detect even strong selection or falsely identify a signature of selection.
Only the first statement is true. All others are false.
Only the first and the second statements are true. The remainder are false.
None of the statements presented are true. All are false.
All of the statements presented are true. None are false.
Only the last statement is true. All preceding statements in question 10 are false.

ShortAnswer (NO MORE THAN ½ page/ANSWER) Questions (5 points each question — max) [THIS SECTION IS WORTH 50 POINTS MAXIMUM]

From an evolutionary perspective, why is malaria (caused by Plasmodium spp.) thought to have been the most important infectious disease influencing the evolution of Homo sapiens?


The Magruder Farm in Darnestown, MD is an importantUS historic site. The farm was headquarters for the Union forces during the Civil War although the Magruders had Southern sympathies and owned enslaved African Americans. A skeleton was found in 2007 and was presumed to be that of a previously enslaved African American man. How would you confirm this genetically?


What is the meaning of coevolution within evolutionary ecology? Give two distinct examples of this relationship between two diverse species.


Where is the region known as Remote Oceania located and what territories does it encompass? What are the genetic and non-genetic evidence for founder effects among the indigenous humans of this region?


Why would you expect some populations whose ancestors used the southern route out of Africa ~60KYA to potentially still retain ancestry informative markers (AIMS) from East Africa?


Agriculture had a huge impact on the people ofWestern Eurasia. Using modern or ancient populations, how would you genetically differentiate those areas where agriculture was the result of gene flow versus those areas where agriculture was the result of assimilation?


Where did the ancestors of modern Southeast Asian and Melanesians populations likely experience Denisovan gene flow and what does this imply about the range of this archaic group originally found in Siberia?


What are the relationships (temporal/geographic/genetic) between Neanderthals and Denisovans?


Why is it so difficult to discern the gene(s) responsible for “complex diseases”?


Haplogroup Q or Q-M242 is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup with has one primary subclade, Haplogroup Q1 (L232/S432). Why is Y haplogroup Q at a modest frequency in Central Asia but at near fixation in South America? Discuss this transition using evolutionary terminology.