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2008 PGSAS Introduction
 

2008 PGSAS Introduction

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The first series of Animal Genetics lectures for the 2008 Pennsylvania Governors School for the Agricultural Sciences!

The first series of Animal Genetics lectures for the 2008 Pennsylvania Governors School for the Agricultural Sciences!

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2008 PGSAS Introduction 2008 PGSAS Introduction Presentation Transcript

  • Confessions of a Poultry Geneticist
      • G. F. Barbato
      • Department of Poultry Science
      • Graduate Program in Animal Science and
      • Intercollege Graduate Program in Genetics
      • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Research
    • OED
      • Noun :
        • The act of searching (closely or carefully) for or after a specified thing or person.
        • a. A search or investigation directed to the discovery of some fact by careful consideration or study of a subject; a course of critical or scientific inquiry. b. Without article: Investigation, inquiry into things. Also, as a quality of persons, habitude of carrying out such investigation.
        • Investigation or pursuit of a subject. R are.
      • Verb :
      • trans . To search into (a matter or subject); to investigate or study closely. Also, to engage in research upon (a subject, a person, etc.).
    • So: Search, and re-search!
  • Google it.
    • Research
      • 1,120,000,000 hits (2008/06/30)
        • 885,000,000 hits (2007/6/26)
        • Over 5,460,000,000 hits (2006/6/26)
        • 93,000,000 in June, 2005!!
    • Why is research important?
      • 845,000,000 hits
    • Research process (or, strategy)
      • 345 million hits...
    • btw ... don't Google --> google scholar ?
  • How to create new knowledge (or evaluate old stuff)
    • Historical perspective.
    • Await revelation.
    • Await enlightenment.
    • Methodical evaluation.
    • Fake it.
  • How to do research
    • Identify a topic
      • Harder than it sounds...
    • Find background information
      • Libraries, books and articles (oh my!)
      • Evaluate quality of sources
    • Citations
    • What happens when you can't find the answer?
  • Don't forget
    • Knowledge is a function of BOTH method and context .
      • We assume a certain level of logic and mechanism.
      • We also assume that rational principles govern the world.
      • We further assume that humans are logical and capable of deducing these principles.
        • [Now – That's a leap of faith!]
  • Four Easy Steps
    • Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
    • Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. Often, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relationship.
    • Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to quantitatively predict the results of new observations.
    • Performance of empirical tests of the predictions by appropriately designed experiments and, preferably, several independent experimenters.
  • What's Important?
    • What did Albert Einstein think?
      • “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
      • “The important thing is to never stop questioning.”
      • “The independence created by philosophical insight ... is the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker of the truth.”
    • Another way to put it:
      • "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation and 2% butterscotch ripple."
                    • W. Wonka
  • The Problem 2005, Kaplan's Americas Hottest Colleges, Newsweek
  • The REAL Problem; (and the SOLUTION)
    • How much time do American students spend in school??
      • High School
          • 900 hrs / year
      • College (16 hrs/week * 15 weeks/ semester * 2 semesters)
          • 480 hrs / year
    • How much time do American students spend watching television?
      • 1,023 hrs / year
  • Livestock Populations of the World (average 1990 - 92) (FAOSTAT, 1994,1998,2003) 2000-2002 Population 1.35 1.8 0.91 0.12 0.18 18.2 5.9 CURRENT WORLD POPULATION: 6,707,019,126
  • What are the challenges of human population growth?
    • Undernutrition
      • More on the next slide
    • Disease transmission
      • More plants and animals
      • Shrinking gene pools
      • Biosecurity
      • Xenobiotic transmission
    • Social friction
      • We experience more cultures than ever before.
      • Misunderstanding; both linguistic and cultural, abound
    • Human biology
      • Shrinking gene pool
      • Is there any 'natural selection'?
  • Worldwide Chronic Undernutrition http://www.fao.org/es/ess/faostat/foodsecurity/FSMap/flash_map.htm Percentage of population undernourished, 1990-92 < 10% 20 - 30% 10 - 20% > 50% 30 - 50% Not Estimated
  • 2004 USDA Hunger Survey
    • 38.2 million Americans (13.2%) now live in hungry and food-insecure households.
    • Over 36% of the individuals living in these households are children (13.9 million children under the age of 18).
    • •The number of American households experiencing hunger jumped 43% between 1999 and 2004.
  • Worldwide Meat Consumption (1997)
  • Where do you get your calories? Perhaps, more importantly: Did you get enough protein for your calories??
  •  
  • The world and plants
  • The 7 Neolithic Founder Crops
  • Wait a minute … What’s domestication?
    • Economic Use such as meat, fur, eggs, milk, labor companionship!!
    • The breeding, care and feeding of the animal are under the continuous control of man
    • Any situation where artificial selection has replaced, in part, natural selection
  •  
  •  
  • The world, plants and animals
  • Behavioral characteristics favoring domestication
    • GROUP STRUCTURE:
    • Large social group
    • Hierarchical social system
    • Males affiliated with females
    • SEXUAL BEHAVIOR:
    • Promiscuous matings
    • Males dominant over females
    • Postural sexual signals
    • Family groupings
    • Territorial structure
    • Males separate
    • Pair-bonding
    • Female dominance
    • Morphological sexual signals
    • PARENTAL BEHAVIOR:
    • Critical period
    • Female accepts young
    • Precocious young
    • RESPONSES TO MAN:
    • Short flight distance
    • Least disturbed by activity
    • Postural sexual signals
    • OTHER:
    • Catholic dietary habits
    • Limited agility
    • Environmentally adaptable
    • Species bond
    • Accept species characteristics
    • Altricial young
    • Extreme wariness
    • Easily disturbed
    • Morphological sexual signals
    • Specialized diets
    • Extreme agility
    • Fixed habitat
  • Trait changes associated with domestication
    • SIZE:
      • Early domestic animals were smaller than their wild counterparts. Now they are larger, due to artificial selection.
    • COLOR:
      • Many more colors in domestic varieties than observed in the wild.
    • SKULL
      • Facial features shortened relative to cranial size. This is especially evident in swine and sheep. The teeth get smaller and horns decrease in size.
    • SKELETON:
      • Domestic cattle have weak muscle ridges and poorly defined facets of the joints. In domestic pigs, the epiphyses of the limb bones do not fuse with the diaphyses until long after maturity.