Evolutionary Genetics

Gene Expression

Tag archives for Evolutionary Genetics

Of Polar Bears & People

I have pointed to the fact that mtDNA genetics has suggested that the polar bear is actually a derived lineage of brown bears. And, more specifically, that some extant lineages of brown bears share a more recent common ancestor with polar bears than other brown bears. In other words, brown bears are paraphyletic. Apparently there…

A few days ago I pointed to a paper which suggests the possible utility of looking at selection on standing genetic variation on quantitative traits to get a sense of the role of adaptation in the human genome. We humans like to think we’re a complex species, so I see no a priori reason why…

What if fitness & migration were random?

There are many ways one can model population genetic dynamics. A simple avenue is to imagine a deme, a group of breeding individuals, subject to a few major parameters which are modulating genetic variation. Mutation, migration, random drift and selection. A model being what a model is, one’s goal is to simplify, utilize approximations, and…

In the post below on the Price Equation I stayed true to George Price’s original notation in his 1970 paper where he introduced his formalism. But here is a more conventional form, the “Full Price Equation,” which introduces a second element on the right-side. Δz = Cov(w, z) / w One can specifically reformulate this…

The Price Equation

In the comments below I referred to the “Price Equation.” Here is what William D. Hamilton had to say about George Price’s formalism in Narrow Roads of Gene Land: A manuscript did eventually come from him but what I found set out was not any sort of new derivation or correction of my ‘kin selection’…

If you have more than a marginal interest in evolutionary biology you will no doubt have stumbled upon the conundrum of sex & sexes. Matt Ridley’s most prominent work, The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature, covered both the theoretical framework and applied implications of the subject. Ridley leaned heavily upon William…

One of the banes of modern life is the stack of papers in one’s “to-read” list. I guess that goes to show how cushy modern life is, as what sort of complaint is that? In any case, I began to consider this after reading Joe Thornton’s magisterial response to Michael Behe’s giddy excitement over his…

Evolutionary ideas have been around a long time, at least since the Greeks, and likely longer. I accept the arguments of researchers who suggest that humans are predisposed to Creationist thinking; after all, cross-cultural data shows the dominance of this model before the rise of modern evolutionary biology. But this does not mean that the…

Evolution & the cat

Scientific American has a long piece reviewing the recent genetic insights into the origins and development of the most awesome pets of all: It is by turns aloof and affectionate, serene and savage, endearing and exasperating. Despite its mercurial nature, however, the house cat is the most popular pet in the world. A third of…

On this week’s Science Saturday John Horgan interviews Richard Wrangham. The second half of the conversation focuses on Wrangham’s new book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. I’ve heard pieces of the arguments mooted in the back & forth before, but it looks like in this book they’re all brought together. Humans are a…