Evolution

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Category archives for Evolution

Competitive Release and Antibiotic Resistance

While much of the research in evolutionary biology is purely academic in nature — designed for the purpose of understanding the biology of a system rather than for immediate human benefit — there is some research that yields immediate practical uses. One research area that is particular fruitful in this regard involves applying evolutionary theory…

Matt Nisbet thinks that Francis Collins should be the next presidential science advisor. He does this after rejecting excellent popularizes of science, such as Neil deGrasse Tyson and E.O. Wilson, on the following grounds: Most science popularizers such as Wilson or Tyson don’t have the years of government experience to understand the machinations of Federal…

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…

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,…

Of Geese and Ganders

Brian at Laelaps has written a post entitled “What’s good for the gander isn’t always good for the goose“, in which he describes some examples of sexual dimorphism in charismatic vertebrates. Studying the phenotypes of these traits is interesting, but what’s happening on the genomic level? That is, how do differences between males and females…

Pseudoscience on Preprint Servers

Peer-to-Peer, one of Nature‘s many blogs, has a post on pseudoscience on preprint servers. The post is in response to a post from another blog (creationists using nature precedings to pre-publish junk science) that pointed out a potentially pseudoscientific article on Nature‘s preprint server, Nature Precedings (The saltational model for the dawn of H. sapiens,…

Frank Wants a Shiny Prize

Please God, don’t let it happen. Please don’t let Franky Collins win this stupid award. I don’t usually make pleas to you, but, given that this is a matter regarding a man of faithTM, I figured it’s a good time to plea to the sky fairy. So, do whatever you can to prevent Congress from…

Francisco Ayala is a Macro-phyle

Or is he micro-phobe? Nature Genetics has published a mostly positive review of the new Evolution textbook by Nick Barton and others (the others include blogger Jonathan Eisen) The review is penned by Francisco Ayala. Among the things Ayala brings up is the coverage various taxa receive: Surprisingly, however, five of the nine chapters of…

Carl Zimmer has a post covering three recent papers on gene duplication: one on amylase variation in humans, one on whole genome duplication in yeast, and one on duplications of genes in the Drosophila arizonae reproductive tract. In all three papers, results are presented showing the importance of duplicated genes in adapting to the environment.…