A behavioral analysis of Bacteria "screaming" when killed

One of the greatest language imitators is the lyre bird. It can make any sound it hears from all birds it has heard to the sound of a chainsaw and other artificial sounds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjE0Kdfos4Y

And this romantic tragedy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XkPeN3AWIE

I have read that whales communicate in vertically stacked words, rather than horizontal sentences.
I am quite sure that whales have complex verbal behavior. It is interesting that they would have developed a completely different structure of grammar from us humans, but not surprising as their lives and physiologies and living environment is so different from ours.
Insects communicate with pheromones.
To the extent that they have verbal behavior, it will still follow function as verbal behavior does. e.g., The "listener" in the insect pheromonal communication, is "listening" by sensing the pheromone signal. Again, it is probably basic respondent behavior as opposed to operant verbal behavior, but IDK.
One of the greatest language imitators is the lyre bird.
That bird is truly amazing. He has amazingly evolved "echoics" (a form of verbal behavior that develops by an individual being its own "listener"). And it is further, then, reinforced, at times, by a female Lyre "listener".

The bowerbird shows body language as communication, in addition to its vocalizations. In the case of body language the “listener” would be the observer (which in this case is the female bird). Her attention reinforces the complex vocalizations and body language.

(Also, it struck me that the bowerbird is representative of how guys will do anything to get laid.)

 

@timb (Also, it struck me that the bowerbird is representative of how guys will do anything to get laid.)
Amen
The correct way to say what the bacteria were doing, would be more like “When their numbers reach a certain threshold, they attack in unison, and may thusly overcome their host.”
As for beating on that horse, I had a swat at it, but reading on, saw that others pointed out the obvious:

Over coming the host’s defenses, does not immediately imply death is the outcome - sometimes sure, but often not.

W4U, nice addition. thanks

 

Although, I’m noticing not much attention was paid to the environment around those viruses - the environment (and changes within it) drives virus behavior as much as any intent or imperative within them. Of course, that creates a quantum shift by introducing an overwhelming amount of information to sort out - so scientists focus on studying what’s within their reach.

Although, I’m noticing not much attention was paid to the environment around those viruses –
Yes, organisms exist within environments. And their behavior is always a product of aspects of the environment in which they exist.

That can definitely be too complex to tease out the most salient of environmental factors for any particular behavior. But we know enough to make some well educated guesses re: controlling factors for specific behaviors, given enough properly gathered data, (data that is designed to be gathered for the purpose of achieving a credible functional analysis).

timb said; That bird is truly amazing. He has amazingly evolved “echoics” (a form of verbal behavior that develops by an individual being its own “listener”). And it is further, then, reinforced, at times, by a female Lyre “listener”.
I should like to know about the "mirror neural system" in lyre birds. From what I know about imitative abilities, it always seems to rest on the ability to mirror behaviors.

Translating Birdsong: Songbirds as a model for basic and applied medical research
Michael S. Brainard, PhD and Allison J. Doupe, MD, PhD
Abstract:

Songbirds, long of interest to basic neuroscientists, have great potential as a model system for translational neuroscience. Songbirds learn their complex vocal behavior in a manner that exemplifies general processes of perceptual and motor skill learning, and more specifically resembles human speech learning. Song is subserved by circuitry that is specialized for vocal learning and production, but that has strong similarities to mammalian brain pathways. The combination of a highly quantifiable behavior and discrete neural substrates facilitates understanding links between brain and behavior, both normally and in disease. Here we highlight 1) behavioral and mechanistic parallels between birdsong and aspects of speech and social communication, including insights into mirror neurons, the function of auditory feedback, and genes underlying social communication disorders, and 2) contributions of songbirds to understanding cortical-basal ganglia circuit function and dysfunction, including the possibility of harnessing adult neurogenesis for brain repair.....more
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4130661/

 

I should like to know about the “mirror neural system” in lyre birds. From what I know about imitative abilities, it always seems to rest on the ability to mirror behaviors.
When it comes to verbal behaviors, one should always consider function. IOW, what does the lyre get out of echoing? I suggest that his echoing behaviors are initially reinforced almost exclusively, automatically, by the behavior. IOW, he was born with the characteristic of enjoying imitating sounds. Then during the course, in his life, of doing so, he learns that if he does it enough, it can also provide the function of resulting in female lyre attention. At that point, I believe, it becomes an operant bit of verbal behavior.

Of course there are neurological mechanisms that have evolved (including, quite possibly, mirror neurons) that result in individuals behaving according to the principles of the behavior of organisms.

Having spent the past week and next couple days, enticing and following a 15 month old around, I can tell you, from following his actions and expressions, he is a little mirroring machine. It comes so natural, it must have primal roots.

A 15 month old! That one’s verbal behavior is just beginning. When even younger, his natural tendency to babble, gave his primary caregiver’s who listened, a chance to shape words like “mama” or “CC” into other functional verbal behavior, like saying “mama” when wanting mama to be present, or to name mama. So yes, echoics are absolutely rooted in our evolved neurology and physiology. (And I don’t use the word “absolutely” indiscriminately like news talk guests do.)

 

Tim: a chance to shape words like “mama” or “CC” into other functional verbal behavior,
CC ? Nah.

Napa! :wink: {Nana & Napa}

Though he’s just starting with the verbalization. Pointing and grunting seems to be working pretty good, he’s got the eye contact and communication thing down for sure.

He’s not too good on his ‘yes’ and ‘no’, but he’s got his confident ‘yes nod’ and ‘no shake’ down.

It really is amazing how much he understands. Straight talk and listening, is all it takes.

Ah but my pride is in watching him shimmy off the couch feet first, just like his Napa spent hours working on, during his crawling days. Heck, seems like just months ago, … and the stairs, like a little champ both directions. Come to think of it. Holy moly, it really was just months ago.

 

timb said: I am quite sure that whales have complex verbal behavior. It is interesting that they would have developed a completely different structure of grammar from us humans, but not surprising as their lives and physiologies and living environment is so different from ours.
Yes, the environment shapes the behavior and behavioral skills through "natural selection", which slowly "weeds out" less adapted individuals and rewards better adapted individuals with time to procreate, ensuring the continuance of the "better" survival traits.

I find it remarkable that Nature logically uses the same evolutionary tools as humans who breed animals for best adaptive traits of a range of survival behaviors. It just takes Nature much longer, because it has no “intent” to select for beneficial traits. The selection is done inside the DNA and it is the result which is tested against the dangers and opportunities provided by the environment.

The human “chromosome 2” is a result of a mutative fusion of two chromosomes (hominid chromosomes 2p + 2q = human chromosome 2), in our “common ancestor”, resulted in the difference of chromosome count in humans and all other great apes, and made us the “smart ape”.

Introduction: All great apes apart from man have 24 pairs of chromosomes. There is therefore a hypothesis that the common ancestor of all great apes had 24 pairs of chromosomes and that the fusion of two of the ancestor's chromosomes created chromosome 2 in humans. The evidence for this hypothesis is very strong.
Conclusion: The evidence that human chromosome 2 is a fusion of two of the common ancestor's chromosomes is overwhelming.
http://www.evolutionpages.com/chromosome_2.htm

Apparently some viruses have learned to manipulate our DNA and use it for their own survival. The perfect parasitic approach, but is successful because it also promotes beneficial symbiotic relationships with other beneficial viruses and bacteria.

Some viruses help us combat bacterial infection. The bacteriophages are beneficial viruses.

Bacteriophages: The Enemies of Bad Bacteria Are Our Friends!

ABSTRACT; Some bacteria can enter the human body and make people ill. Usually, these diseases can be cured by antibiotics, but sometimes bacteria are resistant to them, meaning that the antibiotics do not kill the bacteria. In these cases, bacteria become very dangerous.

Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria but are harmless to humans. To reproduce, they get into a bacterium, where they multiply, and finally they break the bacterial cell open to release the new viruses. Therefore, bacteriophages kill bacteria. Here, we explain how bacteriophages can be used to treat infectious diseases or to remove bacteria from other places where they are unwanted.


https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcTix4hJVUhJIr7zfPJcE8lphIS4lSmBLtb3cA&usqp=CAU

https://kids.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frym.2016.00030

Hopefully you can keep up with him until you become old enough that you have to shimmy off the couch, yourself.

 

Articulation requires extremely sophisticated fine oral-motor coordination. I’ve heard speech therapists say (when I worked in Early Childhood Intervention) that using a baby bottle with a nipple for too long or if the child relies on nipple style pacifiers too much, that could slow his articulation development down a bit.

@timb, My thought on it, is that although, ultimately, it makes sense that the most successful strain mutation will survive the best, and thus, eventually replace a less successful strain, in a particular environment, the less successful strain might keep surviving in another environment and still thrive.
Then something totally radical happens to global conditions that knock the pins out from under dominate species, and suddenly these obscure strains hanging on in some backwaters, find themselves front and center - and now the environment provides adequate resources, to thrive and multiply and differentiate, etc.

 

I was trying to find a micro visualization of one in action but no luck.

But lots of other amazing visual insights - YouTube: “Astonishing molecular machines: Drew Berry” and such.

Yes, the environment shapes the behavior and behavioral skills through “natural selection”...
True, certain basic abilities are passed on by survival to reproduction,

but the environment ALSO produces shaped behaviors and skills during the course of an organism’s life.

And not all of the skills that an organism attains is passed on genetically. e.g., I could learn 7 languages, and if I subsequently fathered a child, my offspring still might only learn one. It depends on her personal environmental history.

W4U said; Yes, the environment shapes the behavior and behavioral skills through “natural selection”…

timb said; True, certain basic abilities are passed on by survival to reproduction, but the environment ALSO produces shaped behaviors and skills during the course of an organism’s life.


Absolutely, and these new skills are passed on in the offspring by example. This is where a mirror neural system becomes so important.

And not all of the skills that an organism attains is passed on genetically. e.g., I could learn 7 languages, and if I subsequently fathered a child, my offspring still might only learn one. It depends on her personal environmental history.
True, but again if the offspring is exposed to new skills practiced by the parents, they will learn and apply them and so on until certain skills become encoded in the DNA and the species has acquired a new genetic marker. In human we can see where the son or daughter follow in the steps of the parents, in say arts, sports, and many special skills the children are exposed to and learn to imitate while growing up.

It’s amazing to see a baby chimp trying to break a nut with a rock. it knows that if it can crack the nut there is a little morsel inside.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Cp7_In7f88

 

It’s a wonderful opportunity to observe our less advanced cousins begin the learning process. This is how humans started their journey in quest of knowledge and skills.

[quote=“timb, post:11, topic:7493”]

(Perhaps Write would disagree about germs having “intent”.)

There is no intent, there is dedicated physical mechanisms that respond to certain stimuli.

Actually I chalk all this up to Natural Selection of desirable traits.

In the case of a bacteria, if it is advantageous to execute a chemical reaction in overcoming a host the relative size of a biological Galaxy, over time nature will select that modification, which survives to procreate.

Quorum Sensing is an evolved survival mechanism.

Quorum Sensing is a chemical “language” and any “screaming” would be of either a chemical or an energetic response behavior. I see it as very probable that “quorum sensing” is an increased response behavior under stress. This proposition can be favorably argued.

These things need not be conscious responses. Just a chemical or kinetic physical stressor is sufficient to elicit a physical responses.

This is apparent in the motion and navigation skills of the single celled Paramecium, where speed and direction are controlled by a system of microtubule electrochemical activities.

Pseudopodia is a term used for organisms that are ably to extend and contract parts of its body . This is not a conscious act, it a select set of behaviors evolving over millenia of trial and error and the natural selection of the most successful neural and physical emergent pattern.
Amoeba movement with pseudopodia under a microscope - YouTube

As to different approaches of bacterial behaviors, Bonnie Bassler clearly demonstrates that humans , and indeed mopst life could not exist with out the help of symbiotic bacteria.

This is why we call most complex living oranisms by the name “microbiome”, i.e. a complete microscopic world, consisting of trillions of living or quasi-living organisms.

Illustrating that there is an entire hustling and bustling microworld completely outside our conscious experience.

To bacteria and viruses a human is akin to a galaxy. To us they are invisible. But without the we would die.

“Spy” Virus Eavesdrops on Bacteria, Then Obliterates Them

In the early experiments it looked like the virus called VP882 was doing something that should be impossible for a thing that is not a bacterium, and not technically even alive: intercepting molecular messages exchanged by its host bacteria, and reading them to determine the best time to annihilate the whole bacterial colony. “As scientists, this is just unimaginable to us,” says Bonnie Bassler, a molecular biologist at Princeton University. “We were delighted and skeptical at the same time. It was almost too good to be true.”

image

Not only did it turn out to be true for VP882; Bassler learned there is a family of bacteria-infecting viruses (a subgroup of a kind called bacteriophages, or just “phages”) that eavesdrop on their hosts’ routine molecular communications with other bacteria. That means VP882’s kill trigger could be easily manipulated to target any bacteria, Bassler says—opening the possibility that the virus could be engineered into an ideal killing machine for dangerous pathogens.