I'm trying to emerge from hibernation, and I'll hopefully have some good blogging material up in the next few days. In lieu of my own ideas, I'm going to link to what other people have written. Read them, because I ain't saying much right now. The list can be found below the fold.
- Neil Saunders points us to this article from the BBC on a new function for "junk DNA". I hope Neil is right: "one day the term 'junk DNA' will fall into disuse."
- John Hawks has a good discussion of a recent paper on inferring population size using mtDNA. Apparently cytoplasmic DNA is under selection, and that, combined with the low recombination rate, makes it a poor neutral marker.
- The Contingency Table summarizes how genomic data can be used to detect natural selection. The idea here is that if you have multiple loci, you can generate an empirical distribution of your favorite statistic and look for loci that are significant outliers.
- The upcoming issue of Nature will contain an article on a highly conserved non-protein-coding sequence that is derived from a transposable element (read a summary of the article here). The authors hypothesize that the motifs may play an important role in the evolution of terrestrial vertebrates.