Population Genetics

evolgen

Category archives for Population Genetics

The Frailty of Nearly Neutral Hypotheses

Mike Lynch has been getting a fair bit of hype recently for his nearly neutral model of genome evolution (see here and here). The nearly neutral theory riffs off the idea that the ability of natural selection to purge deleterious mutations and fix advantageous mutations depends on the effective population size of the population in…

Looking for Darwin with a Bad Pair of Eyes

Bad tests for natural selection are bad at detecting selection. Austin Hughes has published a fairly critical review of some methods used to detect natural selection in protein coding sequences. His attack on current methods for detecting natural selection is threefold. First, he claims that comparing non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions (see here) does not allow…

Cleaning Up the Browser Window

I’ve got far too many tabs open in my browser window, and I gotta blog them ASAP so that I can clean up the ol’ computer. Here are a few things I’ve been meaning to blog, in list form: Nature Genetics has published an issue devoted to structural variation in genomes. There appears to be…

Whither Adaptation?

In a post at the Panda’s Thumb, Ian Musgrave cites this paper by Bakewell et al claiming that 154 genes out of 13,888 surveyed show evidence for adaptive evolution in humans since the divergence with chimps (this is the “chimps more evolved than humans” paper). Ian brings this up in a discussion of Haldane’s dilemma…

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…

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,…

Flipping Alleles

For some reason, John Hawks thinks my disc flipping calculations have something to do with population genetics. He extends it to FST, which is just plain ridiculous. There is nothing about binomial sampling that can be related to popgen theory. Nothing.

Selection on Mitochondrial Genomes

Given the amount of attention I devoted to the effect of selection on the relationship between mitochondrial DNA polymorphism and population size (see here, here, here, here, here, and here), it’s only appropriate that I link to this article by Meiklejohn, Montooth, and Rand on selection on mtDNA. Here’s the abstract: Several recent studies have…

Stuff and Things

Here’s some interesting science: A commonly used medicinal leach may have been misidentified as the wrong species. Here is a description of the Human Variome Project, which seems more focused on mapping disease genes than doing cool population genetics. That’s too bad. Science has an article on the benefits of undergraduate research. The most important…

Adaptive Evolution in Apes

Over at GNXP, Razib has posted a few links to papers concerning adaptive evolution (aka, positive selection or Darwinian selection) in humans and chimps. He’s been following the coverage of this paper from George Zhang’s group which provides evidence that more genes have been under positive selection along the chimpanzee lineage than the human lineage.…