…one key feature of increased sociality is an elaboration of gene regulation capacity.
…odor perception is more akin to the immune system workings where multitudes of receptors are each uniquely responsive to chemical structures (Bartoshuk and Beauchamp, 1994; Buck and Axel, 1991). Moreover, these receptor proteins are chemically and structurally similar to those that bind neurotransmitters and hormones (Buck and Axel, 1991).
See also: Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model
The honeybee already serves as a model organism for studying human immunity, disease resistance, allergic reaction, circadian rhythms, antibiotic resistance, the development of the brain and behavior, mental health, longevity, diseases of the X chromosome, learning and memory, as well as conditioned responses to sensory stimuli (Kohl, 2012).
My comment: Elekonich and Robinson (2000) extended our 1996 model of RNA-mediated hormone-organized and hormone-activated behavior to insects and Elekonich and Roberts (2005) extended it to the life history tranisitions of the honeybee model organism.
Ecological variation leads to ecological adaptations via the biophysically constrained chemistry of RNA-mediated protein folding in all genera via the conserved molecular mechanisms we detailed in the molecular epigenetics section of our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review. Fixation of nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions occurs via the physiology of reproduction.
Concluding sentence from the article in The Scientist (linked above):
“The next step would be to broaden the comparison to a wider variety of social species.” For example, “this could be done with primates,” she said.
The comparison to primates done in 1973. Dobzhansky (free pdf) wrote:
…the so-called alpha chains of hemoglobin have identical sequences of amino acids in man and the chimpanzee, but they differ in a single amino acid (out of 141) in the gorilla” (p. 127).
See also: Oppositional COMT Val158Met effects on resting state functional connectivity in adolescents and adults
My comment: The Val158Met amino acid substitution links everything known about RNA-mediated cell type differentiation in species from microbes to man to life history transitions in humans.
What aspect of nutritional epigenetics and/or pharmacogenomics does not extend across all genera via the conserved molecular mechanisms of biophysically constrained RNA-mediated protein folding chemistry?
I ask because others seem to think that our model of RNA-mediated cell type differentiation must be exemplified in more species before it is accepted as a model for cell type differentiation of all cells in all individuals of all genera.
These results suggest gene family expansion is associated with complex eusociality as predicted (5), but involves different genes in each case. Despite striking convergence of social traits among the superorganisms (4), the final stages of transformation to this level of biological organization do not necessarily involve common molecular pathways.
My comment: The fact that common molecular pathways may not be involved at this level of biological organization, which is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in honeybees and ants, and nutrient-dependent in all genera, suggests that biological organization is biophysically constrained by the RNA-mediated chemistry of protein folding during life history transitions in all genera. That suggests this ridiculous claim is based on pseudoscientific nonsense:
Excerpt: “…genomic conservation and constraint-breaking mutation is the ultimate source of all biological innovations and the enormous amount of biodiversity in this world. In this view of evolution there is no need of considering teleological elements” (p. 199). Mutation-driven evolution
For comparison see: “… the massive creative power of a cooperative RNA consortium (QS-C) remains crucial for life. QS-C was made known to us only recently by virus evolution (e.g., HIV-1). Its role in the origin of life, the emergence of complexity and the creation of group identity should now receive our combined attention” (p. 8). Force for ancient and recent life: viral and stem-loop RNA consortia promote life