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Regulatory CD4(+) T cells, enriched in the CD25 pool of healthy individuals, mediate natural tolerance and prevent autoimmune diseases. Despite their fundamental and potential clinical significance, regulatory T (T(R)) cells have not yet been incorporated in a coherent theory of the immune system. This article reviews experimental evidence and theoretical(More)
Knowledge of the rate and fitness effects of mutations is essential for understanding the process of evolution. Mutations are inherently difficult to study because they are rare and are frequently eliminated by natural selection. In the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila, mutations can accumulate in the germline genome without being exposed to selection. We(More)
IL-10 is a potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory cytokine, exerting major effects in the degree and quality of the immune response. Using a newly generated IL-10 reporter mouse model, which easily allows the study of IL-10 expression from each allele in a single cell, we report here for the first time that IL-10 is predominantly monoallelic(More)
Sex allocation theory has been remarkably successful at explaining the prevalence of even sex ratios in natural populations and at identifying specific conditions that can result in biased sex ratios. Much of this theory focuses on parental sex determination (SD) strategies. Here, we consider instead the evolutionary causes and consequences of mixed(More)
Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are commonly found on bacterial plasmids. The antitoxin inhibits toxin activity unless the system is lost from the cell. Then the shorter lived antitoxin degrades and the cell becomes susceptible to the toxin. Selection for plasmid-encoded TA systems was initially thought to result from their reducing the number of plasmid-free(More)
Gene expression from both parental alleles is beneficial by masking the effects of deleterious recessive mutations and by reducing the noise in gene expression in diploid organisms. However, a class of genes are expressed preferentially or strictly from a single allele. The selective advantage of avoiding biallelic expression is clear for allelic-excluded(More)
The promoter regions of many genes contain multiple binding sites for the same transcription factor (TF). One possibility is that this multiplicity evolved through transitional forms showing redundant cis-regulation. To evaluate this hypothesis, we must disentangle the relative contributions of different evolutionary mechanisms to the evolution of binding(More)
Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) form a popular optimisation paradigm inspired by natural evolution. In recent years the field of evolutionary computation has developed a rigorous analytical theory to analyse their runtime on many illustrative problems. Here we apply this theory to a simple model of natural evolution. In the Strong Selection Weak Mutation(More)
The theory of population genetics and evolutionary computation have been evolving separately for nearly 30 years. Many results have been independently obtained in both fields and many others are unique to its respective field. We aim to bridge this gap by developing a unifying framework for evolutionary processes that allows both evolutionary algorithms and(More)
Evolution of gene regulation is crucial for our understanding of the phenotypic differences between species, populations and individuals. Sequence-specific binding of transcription factors to the regulatory regions on the DNA is a key regulatory mechanism that determines gene expression and hence heritable phenotypic variation. We use a biophysical model(More)