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Concept: Toleration


Humans are thought to possess a unique proclivity to share with others - including strangers. This puzzling phenomenon has led many to suggest that sharing with strangers originates from human-unique language, social norms, warfare and/or cooperative breeding. However, bonobos, our closest living relative, are highly tolerant and, in the wild, are capable of having affiliative interactions with strangers. In four experiments, we therefore examined whether bonobos will voluntarily donate food to strangers. We show that bonobos will forego their own food for the benefit of interacting with a stranger. Their prosociality is in part driven by unselfish motivation, because bonobos will even help strangers acquire out-of-reach food when no desirable social interaction is possible. However, this prosociality has its limitations because bonobos will not donate food in their possession when a social interaction is not possible. These results indicate that other-regarding preferences toward strangers are not uniquely human. Moreover, language, social norms, warfare and cooperative breeding are unnecessary for the evolution of xenophilic sharing. Instead, we propose that prosociality toward strangers initially evolves due to selection for social tolerance, allowing the expansion of individual social networks. Human social norms and language may subsequently extend this ape-like social preference to the most costly contexts.

Concepts: Preference, Social psychology, Evolution, Human, Motivation, Toleration, Interaction, Sociology


During the lifetime of an organism, every individual encounters many combinations of diverse changes in the somatic genome, epigenome and microbiome. This gives rise to many novel combinations of internal failures which are unique to each individual. How any individual can tolerate this high load of new, individual-specific scenarios of failure is not clear. While stress-induced plasticity and hidden variation have been proposed as potential mechanisms of tolerance, the main conceptual problem remains unaddressed, namely: how largely non-beneficial random variation can be rapidly and safely organized into net benefits to every individual.

Concepts: Evolution, Randomness, Failure, Toleration, Immune system, DNA, Genetics, Organization


Cooperation is thought to be highly dependent on tolerance. For example, it has been suggested that dog-human cooperation has been enabled by selecting dogs for increased tolerance and reduced aggression during the course of domestication (‘emotional reactivity hypothesis’). However, based on observations of social interactions among members of captive packs, a few dog-wolf comparisons found contradictory results. In this study, we compared intraspecies aggression and tolerance of dogs and wolves raised and kept under identical conditions by investigating their agonistic behaviours and cofeeding during pair-wise food competition tests, a situation that has been directly linked to cooperation. We found that in wolves, dominant and subordinate members of the dyads monopolized the food and showed agonistic behaviours to a similar extent, whereas in dogs these behaviours were privileges of the high-ranking individuals. The fact that subordinate dogs rarely challenged their higher-ranking partners suggests a steeper dominance hierarchy in dogs than in wolves. Finally, wolves as well as dogs showed only rare and weak aggression towards each other. Therefore, we suggest that wolves are sufficiently tolerant to enable wolf-wolf cooperation, which in turn might have been the basis for the evolution of dog-human cooperation (canine cooperation hypothesis).

Concepts: Suggestion, Aggression, Toleration, Competition, Dominance hierarchy, Hierarchy


As a promising alternative biofuel, biobutanol can be produced through acetone/butanol/ethanol (ABE) fermentation. Currently, ABE fermentation is still a small-scale industry due to its low production and high input cost. Moreover, butanol toxicity to the Clostridium fermentation host limits the accumulation of butanol in the fermentation broth. The wild-type Clostridium acetobutylicum D64 can only produce about 13 g butanol/L and tolerates less than 2% (v/v) butanol. To improve the tolerance of C. acetobutylicum D64 for enhancing the production of butanol, nitrogen ion beam implantation was employed and finally five mutants with enhanced butanol tolerance were obtained. Among these, the most butanol tolerant mutant C. acetobutylicum NT642 can tolerate above 3% (v/v) butanol while the wide-type strain can only withstand 2% (v/v). In batch fermentation, the production of butanol and ABE yield of C. acetobutylicum NT642 was 15.4 g/L and 22.3 g/L, respectively, which were both higher than those of its parental strain and the other mutants using corn or cassava as substrate. Enhancing butanol tolerance is a great precondition for obtaining a hyper-yield producer. Nitrogen ion beam implantation could be a promising biotechnology to improve butanol tolerance and production of the host strain C. acetobutylicum.

Concepts: Chaim Weizmann, Clostridia, Biotechnology, Clostridium, Toleration, Biofuel, Alcohol, Clostridium acetobutylicum


Intravital imaging of BRAF-mutant melanoma cells containing an ERK/MAPK biosensor reveals how the tumor microenvironment affects response to BRAF inhibition by PLX4720. Initially, melanoma cells respond to PLX4720, but rapid reactivation of ERK/MAPK is observed in areas of high stromal density. This is linked to "paradoxical" activation of melanoma-associated fibroblasts by PLX4720 and the promotion of matrix production and remodeling leading to elevated integrin β1/FAK/Src signaling in melanoma cells. Fibronectin-rich matrices with 3-12 kPa elastic modulus are sufficient to provide PLX4720 tolerance. Co-inhibition of BRAF and FAK abolished ERK reactivation and led to more effective control of BRAF-mutant melanoma. We propose that paradoxically activated MAFs provide a “safe haven” for melanoma cells to tolerate BRAF inhibition.

Concepts: Collagen, Young's modulus, Matrix, Melanoma, The Promotion, Toleration


A grand challenge in material science is to understand the correlation between intrinsic properties and defect dynamics. Radiation tolerant materials are in great demand for safe operation and advancement of nuclear and aerospace systems. Unlike traditional approaches that rely on microstructural and nanoscale features to mitigate radiation damage, this study demonstrates enhancement of radiation tolerance with the suppression of void formation by two orders magnitude at elevated temperatures in equiatomic single-phase concentrated solid solution alloys, and more importantly, reveals its controlling mechanism through a detailed analysis of the depth distribution of defect clusters and an atomistic computer simulation. The enhanced swelling resistance is attributed to the tailored interstitial defect cluster motion in the alloys from a long-range one-dimensional mode to a short-range three-dimensional mode, which leads to enhanced point defect recombination. The results suggest design criteria for next generation radiation tolerant structural alloys.

Concepts: Toleration, Alloy, Intensive and extensive properties, Solid, Euclidean space, Dimension, Solid solution, Materials science


Plant species with the capacity to tolerate heavy metals are potentially useful for phytoremediation since they have adapted to survive and reproduce under toxic conditions and to accumulate high metal concentrations. Gomphrena claussenii Moq., a South-American species belonging to the Amaranthaceae, is found at a zinc (Zn) mining area in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Through soil and hydroponic experiments, the metal tolerance and accumulation capacities of G. claussenii were assessed and the effects on physiological characteristics were compared with a closely related non-tolerant species, G. elegans Mart. G. claussenii plants grown in soil sampled at the Zn smelting area accumulated up to 5318μgg(-) (1) of Zn and 287 μg g(-) (1) of cadmium (Cd) in shoot dry biomass after 30 days of exposure. Plants were grown in hydroponics containing up to 3000 μM of Zn and 100 μM of Cd for G. claussenii and 100 μM of Zn and 5 μM of Cd for G. elegans. G. claussenii proved to be an extremely tolerant species to both Zn and Cd, showing only slight metal toxicity symptoms at the highest treatment levels, without significant decrease in biomass and no effects on root growth, whereas the non-tolerant species G. elegans showed significant toxicity effects at the highest exposure levels. Both species accumulated more Zn and Cd in roots than in shoots. In G. elegans, over 90% of the Cd remained in the roots, but G. claussenii showed a root:shoot concentration ratio of around 2, with shoots reaching 0.93% Zn and 0.13% Cd on dry matter base. In G. claussenii shoots, the concentrations of other minerals, such as iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn), were only affected by the highest Zn treatment while in G. elegans the Fe and Mn concentrations in shoots decreased drastically at both Zn and Cd treatments. Taking together, these results indicate that G. claussenii is a novel metallophyte, extremely tolerant of high Zn and Cd exposure and an interesting species for further phytoremediation studies.

Concepts: Cadmium, Root, Toleration, Iron, Minas Gerais, Metal, Zinc, Heavy metal music


Debilitating gastrointestinal symptoms are a common feature of endurance running, and may be exacerbated by and (or) limit the ability to tolerate carbohydrate intake during exercise. The study aimed to determine whether two weeks of repetitive gut-challenge during running can reduce exercise associated gastrointestinal symptoms and carbohydrate malabsorption. Endurance runners (n= 18) performed an initial gut-challenge trial (GC1) comprising 2 h running exercise at 60% VO2max (steady state) whilst consuming a formulated gel-disc containing 30 g carbohydrates (2:1 glucose-fructose, 10% w/v) every 20 min, followed by a 1 h running effort bout. Gastrointestinal symptoms, feeding tolerance, and breath hydrogen (H2 ) were determined along the gut-challenge trial. After GC1, participants were randomly assigned to a blinded carbohydrate (CHO, 90 gCHO·h(-1) ) or placebo (PLA, 0 gCHO·h(-1) ) gut-training group. This comprised of consuming the group specific feeding intervention during 1 h running exercise at 60% VO2max equivalent, daily over a period of two weeks. Participants then repeated the gut-challenge trial (GC2). In GC2, a reduced gut discomfort (P= 0.012), total (P= 0.009), upper- (P= 0.015) and lower-gastrointestinal (P= 0.008) symptoms, and nausea (P= 0.05) were observed on CHO, but not PLA. Feeding tolerance did not differ between GC1 and GC2 on CHO and PLA. H2 peak was attenuated in GC2 (6 ± 3 ppm) compared to GC1 (13 ± 6 ppm) on CHO (P= 0.004), but not on PLA (GC1 11 ± 7 ppm, and GC2 10 ± 10 ppm). The effort bout distance was greater in GC2 (12.3 ± 1.3 km) compared with GC1 (11.7 ± 1.5 km) on CHO (P= 0.035) only. Two weeks of repetitive gut-challenge improves gastrointestinal symptoms and reduces carbohydrate malabsorption during endurance running, which may have performance implications. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Malabsorption, Energy, Steady state, Toleration, Nutrition, Carbohydrate, All rights reserved, Copyright


The development of spontaneous kidney transplant tolerance has been associated with numerous B cell-related immune alterations. We have previously shown that tolerant recipients exhibit reduced B cell receptor (BCR) signalling and higher IL-10 production than healthy volunteers. However, it is unclear whether CD4T cells from tolerant recipients also display an antiinflammatory profile that could contribute to graft maintenance.

Concepts: Genetics, Enzyme, Toleration, Glucose, Adenosine triphosphate, Human, Cell biology, Protein


Low-phosphorus (LP) stress is a global problem for maize production and has been exacerbated by breeding activities that have reduced the genetic diversity of maize. Although LP tolerance in maize has been previously evaluated, the evaluations were generally performed with only a small number of accessions or with samples collected from a limited area. In this research, 826 maize accessions (including 580 tropical/subtropical accessions and 246 temperate accessions) were evaluated for LP tolerance under field conditions in 2011 and 2012. Plant height (PH) and leaf number were measured at three growth stages. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and fresh ear weight (FEW) were also measured. Genetic correlation analysis revealed that FEW and NDVI were strongly correlated with PH, especially at later stages. LP-tolerant and -sensitive accessions were selected based on the relative trait values of all traits using principal component analysis, and all the 14 traits of the tolerant maize accessions showed less reduction than the sensitive accessions under LP conditions. LP tolerance was strongly correlated with agronomic performance under LP stress conditions, and both criteria could be used for genetic analysis and breeding of LP tolerance. Temperate accessions showed slightly better LP tolerance than tropical/subtropical ones, although more tolerant accessions were identified from tropical/subtropical accessions, which could be contributed by their larger sample size. This large-scale evaluation provides useful information, LP-tolerant germplasm resources and evaluation protocol for genetic analysis and developing maize varieties for LP tolerance.

Concepts: Genetics, Correlation and dependence, Maize, Trait, Toleration, Population genetics, Sample size, Principal component analysis