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First day of round table and conferences in Turin for ESOF 2010, Elisabetta Tola interviews Filippo Rijli, from the Friederich Miescher Institute For Biomedical Research (Swizerland) and speaks about the research of Ernst Fehr, Director of Institute in Economics - University of Zurich (Swizerland)

Video : formicablu.it

Filippo Rijli
Molecular mechanisms of craniofacial development
RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Japan
Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Switzerland
The field of evolutionary developmental biology has traditionally striven to explain the evolutionary diversity of animals by focusing on molecular-level changes in developmental mechanisms. But the tendency has been to look at embryo-wide patterns known as body plans, which differ only at very broad taxonomic levels, such as phyla. This wide-view approach, however, does not fully address some of the best-known evolutionarily-determined innovations, such as the giraffe’s neck, the elephant’s trunk, or the bat’s wing, which are much more specific in terms of both the taxa and the anatomic structures involved. This is not to say that such questions are beyond the scope of molecular genetics, but rather that, by focusing on the cellular and molecular levels, modern developmental biology is too often uninformed by a solid grasp of comparative gross anatomy. In this session, we will highlight some of the connections between developmental changes at the molecular level and changes in the anatomical organization in vertebrates over evolutionary time.

Ernst Fehr
Director, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich
Self-interest constitutes a powerful motive in humans which has led many social scientists to assume that it typically overrides non-selfish, social, motives. However, a large body of evidence over the last two decades indicates that this view is wrong. Many people exhibit non-selfish motives, but there is also strong heterogeneity in the strength of social motives and a significant share of people seems to be predominantly selfish. This heterogeneity of social motives gives rise to seemingly paradoxical outcomes. Sometimes the vast majority of all people seem to behave in a selfish manner, while almost all people seem to co-operate at other times, despite material incentives to the contrary. These puzzling phenomena will be explained on the basis of important insights generated in experimental economics.

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