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The precedence of syntax in the rapid emergence of human language in evolution as defined by the integration hypothesis

Our core hypothesis is that the emergence of human language arose very rapidly from the linking of two pre-adapted systems found elsewhere in the animal world—an expression system, found, for example, in birdsong, and a lexical system, suggestively found in non-human primate calls. We challenge the view that language has undergone a series of gradual changes—or a single preliminary protolinguistic stage—before achieving...


The longevity of broadleaf deciduous trees in Northern Hemisphere temperate forests: insights from tree-ring series

Understanding the factors controlling the expression of longevity in trees is still an outstanding challenge for tree biologists and forest ecologists. We gathered tree-ring data and literature for broadleaf deciduous (BD) temperate trees growing in closed-canopy old-growth (OG) forests in the Northern Hemisphere to explore the role of geographic patterns, climate variability, and growth rates on longevity. Our pan-continental...


Juvenile zebra finches learn the underlying structural regularities of their fathers’ song

Natural behaviors, such as foraging, tool use, social interaction, birdsong, and language, exhibit branching sequential structure. Such structure should be learnable if it can be inferred from the statistics of early experience. We report that juvenile zebra finches learn such sequential structure in song. Song learning in finches has been extensively studied, and it is generally believed that young males acquire song by imitating tutors. Variability in the...


Autophagy in plants and algae

Autophagy (also known as macroautophagy) is an evolutionarily conserved process by which cytoplasmic components are nonselectively enclosed within a double-membrane vesicle known as the autophagosome and delivered to the vacuole for degradation of toxic components and recycling of needed nutrients. This catabolic process is required for the adequate adaptation and response of the cell, and correspondingly the whole organism, to different types of stress including nutrient starvation or oxidative damage. Autophagy has...


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Molecular mechanisms of metalloid transport, toxicity and tolerance

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