SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Phenotype

In genetics, the phenotype of an organism is the composite of the organism's observable characteristics or traits. The term covers the organism's morphology or physical form and structure, its developmental processes, its biochemical and physiological properties, its behavior, the products of behavior. An organism's phenotype results from two basic factors: the expression of an organism's genetic code, or its genotype, the influence of environmental factors. Both factors may interact, further affecting phenotype; when two or more different phenotypes exist in the same population of a species, the species is called polymorphic. A well-documented example of polymorphism is Labrador Retriever coloring. Richard Dawkins in 1978 and again in his 1982 book The Extended Phenotype suggested that one can regard bird nests and other built structures such as caddis-fly larvae cases and beaver dams as "extended phenotypes". Wilhelm Johannsen proposed the genotype-phenotype distinction in 1911 to make clear the difference between an organism's heredity and what that heredity produces.

The distinction resembles that proposed by August Weismann, who distinguished between germ plasm and somatic cells. The genotype-phenotype distinction should not be confused with Francis Crick's central dogma of molecular biology, a statement about the directionality of molecular sequential information flowing from DNA to protein, not the reverse; the term "phenotype" has sometimes been incorrectly used as a shorthand for phenotypic difference from wild type, bringing the statement that a mutation has no phenotype. Despite its straightforward definition, the concept of the phenotype has hidden subtleties, it may seem that anything dependent on the genotype is a phenotype, including molecules such as RNA and proteins. Most molecules and structures coded by the genetic material are not visible in the appearance of an organism, yet they are observable and are thus part of the phenotype, it may seem that this goes beyond the original intentions of the concept with its focus on the organism in itself.

Either way, the term phenotype includes inherent traits or characteristics that are observable or traits that can be made visible by some technical procedure. A notable extension to this idea is the presence of "organic molecules" or metabolites that are generated by organisms from chemical reactions of enzymes. Another extension adds behavior to the phenotype. Behavioral phenotypes include cognitive and behavioral patterns; some behavioral phenotypes may characterize psychiatric syndromes. Phenotypic variation is a fundamental prerequisite for evolution by natural selection, it is the living organism as a whole that contributes to the next generation, so natural selection affects the genetic structure of a population indirectly via the contribution of phenotypes. Without phenotypic variation, there would be no evolution by natural selection; the interaction between genotype and phenotype has been conceptualized by the following relationship: genotype + environment → phenotype A more nuanced version of the relationship is: genotype + environment + genotype & environment interactions → phenotype Genotypes have much flexibility in the modification and expression of phenotypes.

The plant Hieracium umbellatum is found growing in two different habitats in Sweden. One habitat is rocky, sea-side cliffs, where the plants are bushy with broad leaves and expanded inflorescences; these habitats alternate along the coast of Sweden and the habitat that the seeds of Hieracium umbellatum land in, determine the phenotype that grows. An example of random variation in Drosophila flies is the number of ommatidia, which may vary between left and right eyes in a single individual as much as they do between different genotypes overall, or between clones raised in different environments; the concept of phenotype can be extended to variations below the level of the gene that affect an organism's fitness. For example, silent mutations that do not change the corresponding amino acid sequence of a gene may change the frequency of guanine-cytosine base pairs; these base pairs have a higher thermal stability than adenine-thymine, a property that might convey, among organisms living in high-temperature environments, a selective advantage on variants enriched in GC content.

Richard Dawkins described a phenotype that included all effects that a gene has on its surroundings, including other organisms, as an extended phenotype, arguing that "An animal's behavior tends to maximize the survival of the genes'for' that behavior, whether or not those genes happen to be in the body of the particular animal performing it." For instance, an organism such as a beaver modifies its environment by building a beaver dam. When a bird feeds a brood parasite such as a cuckoo, it is unwittingly extending its phenotype.

Global Energy Balance Network

The Global Energy Balance Network was a US-based nonprofit claiming to fund research into causes of obesity, but was known for promoting the idea that lack of exercise, not bad diet, was responsible for the obesity epidemic. It has been characterised as an astroturfing organisation, it received substantial funding from Coca-Cola. It has been criticised by nutrition experts for downplaying the role of junk food in obesity. Critics have accused the American College of Sports Medicine of supporting GEBN; the ACSM claims it had no affiliation with GEBN. GEBN's view of weight and metabolic health promoted the idea that weight loss can be achieved by taking more exercise while maintaining the same level of consumption - this view "crosses a line by advancing a view that falls outside the scientific consensus", presents an overly simplistic view of the energy balance equation, with experts noting that "evidence for eating less as a weight-loss strategy is much, much stronger than the evidence for moving more".

Coca-Cola was given a 2015 "Shonky Award" by Australian consumer organisation Choice, due to its funding of GEBN, which amounted to at least $1.5m in 2015. On November 30, 2015, the group announced on its website that it would discontinue operations immediately. Shortly before this, the chief public scientist at Coca-Cola announced her retirement. Coca-Cola did not replace the position. On August 2nd, 2016, it was announced Gregory Hand would be forced out as the Founding Dean of the West Virginia University School of Public Health. Official website

Stane Derganc

Stane Derganc a.k.a. Chainman was a Yugoslavian gymnast. At the 1928 Olympics, he won two bronze medals for the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Today, he is remembered as the man depicted on the Verigar stamps, the first stamp series in the Slovene language. Stane Derganc was born in Ljubljana, he took part in two Olympic Games for Yugoslavia, two gymnastics World Championships. At the 1924 Olympics in Paris, he came in fourth place in the individual combined event, fifth in the floor event, seventh in the pommel horse were his best results in the individual apparatus. At the next event, in 1928 he took bronze in individual floor event. At the World Championships, he won many medals. At his first World Championships, in 1922 in Yugoslavia, he was part of the Yugoslav team which took silver in the team event, behind Czechoslovakia, he took bronze in the individual overall event, silver in the horizontal bar. He took part in the next World Championships, in Lyon, France in 1926. There, Yugoslavia again won silver in the team event.

He won no individual medals at this World Championships. Stane Derganc was depicted by Ivan Vavpotič on the Verigar stamps from the late 1918: Media related to Stane Derganc at Wikimedia Commons