Sam P. Brown

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The health of the honeybee and, indirectly, global crop production are threatened by several biotic and abiotic factors, which play a poorly defined role in the induction of widespread colony losses. Recent descriptive studies suggest that colony losses are often related to the interaction between pathogens and other stress factors, including parasites.(More)
Classical models of virulence evolution conclude that the increased competition favoured by multiple infection will select for increasing consumption and deterioration of the host resource, or 'virulence'. However, recent empirical and theoretical studies suggest that this view of virulence has some shortcomings. Here, we argue that the evolutionary(More)
Many species of deciduous trees display striking colour changes in autumn. Here, we present a functional hypothesis: bright autumn coloration serves as an honest signal of defensive commitment against autumn colonizing insect pests. According to this hypothesis, individuals within a signalling species show variation in the expression of autumn coloration,(More)
Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson 466, 1057-1062 (2010); Nowak et al. reply. Nowak et al. argue that inclusive fitness theory has been of little value in explaining the natural world, and that it has led to negligible progress in explaining the evolution of eusociality. However, we believe that their arguments are based upon a(More)
Understanding and predicting parasite strategies is of interest not only for parasitologists, but also for anyone interested in epidemiology, control strategies and evolutionary medicine. From an ecological and evolutionary perspective, parasites are an important feature of their hosts' selective environment, and may have diverse roles, ranging from the(More)
BACKGROUND Microbes engage in a remarkable array of cooperative behaviors, secreting shared proteins that are essential for foraging, shelter, microbial warfare, and virulence. These proteins are costly, rendering populations of cooperators vulnerable to exploitation by nonproducing cheaters arising by gene loss or migration. In such conditions, how can(More)
Antivirulence drugs are a new type of therapeutic drug that target virulence factors, potentially revitalising the drug-development pipeline with new targets. As antivirulence drugs disarm the pathogen, rather than kill or halt pathogen growth, it has been hypothesized that they will generate much weaker selection for resistance than traditional(More)
Despite increasing evidence of host phenotypic manipulation by parasites, the underlying mechanisms causing infected hosts to act in ways that benefit the parasite remain enigmatic in most cases. Here, we used proteomics tools to identify the biochemical alterations that occur in the head of the cricket Nemobius sylvestris when it is driven to water by the(More)
The study of quorum-sensing bacteria has revealed a widespread mechanism of coordinating bacterial gene expression with cell density. By monitoring a constitutively produced signal molecule, individual bacteria can limit their expression of group-beneficial phenotypes to cell densities that guarantee an effective group outcome. In this paper, we attempt to(More)
Medical science is typically pitted against the evolutionary forces acting upon infective populations of bacteria. As an alternative strategy, we could exploit our growing understanding of population dynamics of social traits in bacteria to help treat bacterial disease. In particular, population dynamics of social traits could be exploited to introduce less(More)