evolgen

Archives for June, 2007

Back from Halifax

After driving through the night, we got home from Halifax this morning. The SMBE meeting was excellent as usual, and I agree with Dan Hartl that it’s the best meeting for evolutionary genetics. With excellent talks and posters on topics ranging from population genetics to comparative genomics (and many people discussing both and everything in…

Muller’s Wheel

H.J. Muller is famous for (among other things) his argument for the evolution of recombination involving the purging of deleterious alleles (dubbed Muller’s Ratchet). In a nutshell, Muller observed that, in the absence of recombination, deleterious mutations will fix in populations because every chromosome will, eventually, obtain a mutation which decreases the fitness of the…

On the Road to Halifax

When this post appears, I’ll be on the road to Halifax for the SMBE meeting. That’s right — on the road. As in an 18 hour drive. I’m not doing it alone, mind you. It’s me and ten other grad students and post-docs packed into two vans. And we’re not doing the whole thing in…

Drosophila Smell and Taste

Sensing and reacting to one’s environment is necessary for survival. Different species have different expertise in regards to how they sense their environment. Humans, for example, have reduced olfactory abilities relative to other mammals, but excellent color vision. Cats have good night vision, but poor vision during day light. These proficiencies and deficiencies in sensory…

Last year, Katie Pollard and colleagues published a couple of papers in which they identified regions of the human genome that had recently undergone an acceleration in their rate of evolution and characterized the expression pattern of an RNA gene located in one of those regions. The RNA gene is expressed in the developing brain,…

Tangled Bank #81

Matt’s posted the newest edition of the Tangled Bank (the original science blog carnival) at his Behavioral Ecology Blog. There’s a link to a post on Mike Lynch’s anti-adaptationist paper in PNAS and another to a post by Pedro’s on protein evolution.

SMBE 2007

This year’s meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution will take place at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia (conference webpage). I’m going, and so are Reed Cartwright and Jason Stajich. Additionally, Rosie Redfield and John Logsdon have each been invited to give a talk at the conference. As you can see, there…

Two Genetics Blog Carnivals for Today

There are two genetics blog carnivals available for your perusing today. First is Gene Genie hosted by Hsien at Eye on DNA. The second is Mendel’s Garden, over at The Daily Transcript. Hsien will also be hosting the next edition of Mendel’s Garden. Visit the Mendel’s Garden webpage if you’d like to contribute to the…

New York Times Cracks

Let’s go through the basics again. Cracking the genetic code refers to figuring out how DNA encodes the information to make proteins — that was done decades ago. Sequencing a genome does not mean that you have decoded the genome; presumably, decoding a genome would mean you’ve figured out the function of every part of…

Lots of Pretty Wings in PLoS ONE

In a new article in PLoS ONE, a group of researchers led by Kevin Edwards present a collection of images of Hawaiian Drosophila wings. Here’s one figure from the paper showing the evolutionary relationships of a bunch of different clades and some representative wing patterns: The authors point out that, with the availability of the…