Download Biological invasions: theory and practice by Nanako Shigesada PDF

By Nanako Shigesada

While a species colonizes a space that it has now not formerly inhabited, it truly is referred to as an "invasion", and it could possibly bring about the extinction of endemic species. the rise in numbers of people vacationing the realm provides possibilities for invasions via organisms and the unfold of illnesses equivalent to rabies and smallpox. utilizing the massive quantity of information from reports in pest keep an eye on and epidemiology, it truly is attainable to build mathematical versions which can are expecting which species becomes invaders, which habitats are liable to invasion, and the organic impression. This ebook offers a transparent and available advent to the modeling of organic invasions. It demonstrates the most recent theories and types, and comprises facts and examples from numerous case experiences displaying how those versions should be utilized to difficulties from lethal human ailments to the unfold of weeds.

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Debate persists over the extent to which the evolution of later Homo species, especially our own species, occurred in Africa. An enduring minority view asserts that earlier species radiating out of Africa, particularly Homo erectus, then evolved in ‘multiregional’ fashion to yield similar strains of modern humans. On that view, gene flow between regional populations across the Eurasian super-continent ensured continuing genetic overlap. Nevertheless, reply the critics, such convergent biological evolution is implausible – and not evident elsewhere in nature.

We may next learn to repair genes by correcting molecular ‘spelling errors’. We can already transfer whole genes between totally dissimilar species – such as taking the anti-freeze gene from cold-water flounder fish and inserting it into the genome of strawberries to make them frost resistant. Expectantly but nervously, we stand on the brink of a ‘postgenome’ society in which we face the possibilities of therapeutic cloning, of as-yet-unimagined transgenic organisms, of purpose-built DNA vaccines, of genetic therapy, and of personalised genetic bar-coding that may facilitate a risk-minimising individual lifestyle.

More fundamentally, poverty is an indisputable root cause of illness and disease. Indeed, in an increasingly unequal world (where the several hundred richest individuals today have a combined income equal to the world’s poorest 3 billion people) one must conclude that the global economy is, in some ways, acting to the detriment of the health of large parts of the human population. In later chapters we will look at how patterns of health have been affected by the external imposition of ‘structural adjustment’ upon developing country economies.

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