What we’re reading: Experimental evolution of beetles’ immunity, adaptive introgression in mussels, and sexual harassment in the field

Summer afternoon

In the journals

Joop G., O. Roth, P. Schmid-Hempel, and J. Kurtz. 2014. Experimental evolution of external immune defences in the red flour beetle. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 27: 1562–1571. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12406.

Intriguingly, we found indication for an interme- diate quinone secretion, as in unselected wild-type bee- tles, being closest to optimal and by such providing one of the rare examples for potential optimal immune defence.

Fraïsse, C., C. Roux, J. J. Welch, and N. Bierne. 2014. Gene flow in a mosaic hybrid zone: Is local introgression adaptive? Genetics 197:939–951. doi: 10.1534/genetics.114.161380.

Here we conduct a scan for unusual patterns of differentiation in a mosaic hybrid zone between two mussel species, Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis. One outlying locus, mac-1, showed a characteristic footprint of local introgression, with abnormally high frequency of edulis-derived alleles in a patch of M. galloprovincialis enclosed within the mosaic zone, but low frequencies outside of the zone.

Clancy K.B.H., R.G. Nelson, J.N. Rutherford, K. Hinde. 2014. Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees Report Harassment and Assault. PLoS ONE 9(7): e102172. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102172.

Women trainees were the primary targets; their perpetrators were predominantly senior to them professionally within the research team. Male trainees were more often targeted by their peers at the research site.

In the news

“I only started this blog in 2009, and what I didn’t realize until 2010 was that a whole bunch of super useful TT search advice-related posts were written in 2007 and 2008 by some of your favorite faculty bloggers.”—And The Spandrel Shop has launched a corresponding pre-tenure blog carnival.

“A trial of double-blind peer reviewing is going on at Nature Publishing Group (NPG), which owns Nature. Since June 2013, Nature Geoscience and Nature Climate Change have offered double-blind peer review as an option for those submitting manuscripts.”

“He suspected that only a few scientists are able to publish papers year in, year out. But the finding that less than 1% do so surprised him, he says.”

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About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy Yoder is an Assistant Professor of Biology at California State University, Northridge. He also blogs at Denim and Tweed, and tweets under the handle @jbyoder.
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