evolgen

Archives for December, 2007

Accelerated Evolution — yet again

Can positive selection drown out neutral evolution? That’s what John Hawks claims in response to my post on accelerated evolution. Hawks points out that, rather than looking at the neutral fixation rate (which is equal to the mutation rate, u), we should be more interested in the average time to fixation of a neutral mutation…

Phylogeny Friday — 28 December 2007

Historical Inaccuracy Edition A lot of us who work in well established biological systems take for granted how those systems were first discovered or established. Sometimes this involves the choice by an individual to begin studying development using a small worm. Other times it’s the fortunate discovery of visible chromosomes allowing for physical maps of…

There’s been a whole lot of hype around the Hawks et al. paper describing a recent burst of adaptive evolution in the human genome. The problem is a lot of people are conflating accelerated adaptive evolution with accelerated evolution. Take this for example: 12/11: Accelerated Human Evolution In recent years, humans have evolved at a…

Recent Accelerated Adaptive Evolution in Humans

For those of you interested in recent adaptive evolution in some insignificant bipedal primate, John Hawks and pals have published a paper in PNAS describing something you’ll find interesting. Of course, if you’re interested in such things, you already know that. Here are some links related to Hawks et al. paper: The Hawks et al.…

Sciencedebate 2008

Are you bothered by the total disregard for science shown by some US presidential candidates? Mike Huckabee does not heart evolution. Other candidates aren’t saying much. Would you like to see where the candidates stand on various science and technology issues? Sheril and Chris at the Intersection have put together a campaign for a Science…

Where does your funding come from?

The Scientist blog reports that a representative of the National Science Foundation (NSF) was at the annual meeting of the America Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). The NSF representative pointed out a couple of things things: If your proposal describes research designed to find a cure for some disease, the NSF will not fund it.…

Genetics Links

There are two recent genetics related posts on other blogs that evolgen readers might find interesting: First, check out Query Gene (via ScienceRoll). This web-ap allows you to couple a nucleotide blast search with a Google search for a term related to your blast query. Here is how the creators describe it: Query Gene is…

Geese, Ganders, and Genomes

I previously described where in a genome we would expect to find sexually antagonistic genes. Briefly, depending on whether a gene is male-biased or female-biased and whether beneficial mutations are dominant or recessive, we can predict whether these sexually antagonistic genes will be on X chromosomes or autosomes. As I mentioned in that post, the…

Not all animals must have sex with another individual to produce perfectly viable offspring. And neither do humans, thanks to technological breakthroughs in artificial insemination. But what about those critters that do not require masturbation and meat basters to produce babies sans contact with another individual? Remarkably, this is quite common in the animal kingdom,…

The Ethics of Being an Open Access Publisher

BioMed Central advertises itself as “The Open Access Publisher” (see their logo floating next to this text). They publish a lot of journals, but I think the Public Library of Science (PLoS) has the lead when it comes to being THE open access publisher. That’s because everything published by PLoS is Open Access — it’s…