Speciation

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Category archives for Speciation

Species Concepts are Dynamic . . . and Crap

Because I haven’t riled up Wilkins in a while. I was chatting with a friend who has published a fairly high profile article on speciation about species concepts. We came to the conclusion that species concepts are useless unless they guide future research. Okay, we were just echoing Coyne ‘n Orr. As crappy as the…

Hybrid Speciation Strikes Again

We usually think of speciation as a bifurcating process — a single lineage splitting into two. The relationships of those species can often be determined using DNA sequences. But we know that there are exceptions, like horizontal gene transfer in bacteria. And hybrid speciation in plants. These exceptions often interfere with our ability to reconstruct…

Nature Reviews Genetics has published a review (go figure) of speciation genetics penned by Mohamed Noor and Jeff Feder. Here is the purpose of the review, from the horses’ mouths: Here, we review how recent advances in molecular and genomic techniques are helping to achieve a greater understanding of the genetics of speciation. For the…

The Scientist (we’re not sure which one) reviews the palm tree sympatric speciation paper from February (doi here). Here’s what Jerry Coyne has to say: “Both these cases are most parsimoniously interpreted as sympatric speciation,” said Jerry Coyne at the University of Chicago. Still, he questioned whether the species are truly sister taxa, and didn’t…

Indels, Duplications, Disease, and Speciation

Here are three interesting items that I don’t plan on blogging, but are worth linking to: Here is a news release on indel variation in humans. SNPs are so 20th century. Deletions, duplications, and insertions are the molecular polymorphisms of the future. Speaking of deletions and duplications, Nobel Intent has a good review of three…

A Few Links for Your Sunday

Here is some light reading for your Sunday: Mosquitoes sing to each other by flapping their wings. This paper reports sexually dimorphic responses to wing beat patterns in mosquitoes (PZ Myers has a good review). This leads me to wonder whether we can study intra- and inter-specific differences in flight behavior and response, which then…

Zimmer on Speciation

Carl Zimmer has an article in the NYTimes Science section on how humans can interfere with diverging populations, increasing the frequency of hybrids and preventing speciation. He give two examples: three-spine sticklebacks in British Columbia, Canada and ground finches in the Galapagos. The sticklebacks colonized lakes on Victoria Island from the Pacific Ocean and became…

You Say Hybridization, Hawks Says Hype

John Hawks reads the papers so that I don’t have to. Here is Hawks’s reply to the human-chimp speciation paper I mentioned in the previous post. The basic conclusion that Hawks reaches: Don’t believe the hype. The data analysis in the paper is sound, but the conclusions the authors draw are designed explicitly for the…

Human-Chimp Speciation

Humans and chimps did not undergo a speciation event. Some pair of species (one an ancestor of humans, the other of chimps) speciated. It was thought that this event occurred approximately 6.5-7.4 million years ago, based on fossil evidence. A new paper coming out in the week’s issue of Nature, however, suggests that the speciation…

Taking Published Results out of Context

If anyone thinks I have sold out to the Seed Gods, let this be my exhibit A against such opinions. Seed has published a review of Funk et al’s ecological divergence and speciation PNAS paper. The scientific content is not all that bad, but it blows the implications of the study way out of proportion.…