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Summary - Perspectives on animal behavior.
3 Genetic analysis of behavior
What factors are essential to the expression of a certain behavior?
- The animals physiology
- The animals neurosystem
In what ways are genes able to alter behavior?
- By the direct influence from the gene on the physiology of the animal, allowing the behavior.
- By an external trigger that causes an alteration in the animals genes, which causes the genes to alter the physiology and therefore the behavior of the animal
3.1 Basics of gene action
What do genes code for?
Genes code for proteins
What do proteins influence?
They influence the composition and organisation of the animal.
There are different protein types, which protein types are distinguished?
- Structural proteins --> building blocks
- Regulatory proteins --> modify activity of genes
Why is it that alterations in genes may affect behavior?
A change in the gene may alter the protein it codes for. This new protein may influence other genes or change the animals physiology and therefore changes the behavior.
What are the differences between DNA and mRNA?
- DNA is double stranded - mRNA is single stranded.
- DNA contains the sugar deoxiribose - mRNA contains the sugar ribose.
- The base thymine in DNA is substituted by - the base uracil in mRNA.
How does the transfer of the information in a gene work?
- Sequience of bases in DNA is copied by mRNA -->
- Sequience of bases in mRNA is translated in a sequience of amino acids -->
- The sequince of amino acids together forms a protein.
- A structural protein will help build and maintain a certain bodypart, a regulatory protein will modify other gene's activities.
What are alleles?Alternative forms of a gene.
What means homozygous?Two alleles of a gene ar identical.
What means heterozygous?Two alleles of a gen are different.
What is a mutation?A specific change in the sequence of bases in the DNA.
3.2 Goals of behavioral genetics
What are the goals of behavioral geneticists?
- To identify the gene or genes that cause a certain behavior and to learn the function of this gene or these genes.
- To decipher the interactions among genes and their products and between genes and the environment to understand why a certain behavior takes the form it does.
What is heritability?
A statistical measure that suggests how strongly a behavior is influenced by genes.
What do you know when the heritability of a particular trait is 0,5?
That 50% of the variability in the population study is due to genetic differences.
How is heritability measured?
By measuring the differences in the behavior of a large number of induviduals (quantitative research). Then, typically by comparing relatives, can be determined how much of the observation variation is due to genetic differences among induviduals and how much is caused by the environmental differences.
What is genomics?
A study of an organism's entire genome (all of it's DNA)
There are three genomics area's? What are they and what do they engage in?
- Functional genomics --> goal is to understand the function of genes and noncoding regions of the genome. It concerns itself with the patterns of gene activity under different conditions or at different developmental states.
- Comparative genomics --> goal is to understand how traits have evolved as well as how they work physiologically.
- Proteomics --> goal is to study the full set of proteins coded for by an organism's genes and to understand how these proteins work.