Category Archives: genomics

Totally RAD

Puritz et al. (2014) weigh the pros and cons of, the aptly titled, “RAD fad” in a comment recently published online in Molecular Ecology. They challenge: (1) the assertion that the original RAD protocol minimizes the impact of PCR artifacts … Continue reading

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Posted in bioinformatics, genomics, methods, next generation sequencing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Migration Circos plots in R

We’ve all seen them – colorful, and I daresay, pretty darn informative. Circos plots are fun visualizations of large data-sets. I’ve seen them used in two contexts in comparative genomics – to represent structural variants in homologous chromosome segments in … Continue reading

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Et tu, Brute? Black-legged ticks use genes co-opted from bacteria to fight bacterial infection

Horizontal gene transfer occurs when genes are passed between individuals by mechanisms other than reproduction. It is common in bacteria and occasionally happens between highly divergent groups (for example, monocot genes transferred to eudicots, fungal genes transferred to aphids, bacterial genes transferred … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Recombination

In a recent publication, Lesecque et al (2014). provide key evidence that fills in some of the blanks to an age old question – how do recombination hotspots evolve? Their analyses of major PRDM9 (a polymorphic zinc finger protein with … Continue reading

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Compensatory evolution: a possible mechanism of population divergence

After spending my graduate career using genetic data to reconstruct historical demographic events, one of the things that excite me the most about my postdoc work is the opportunity to use experimental methods to make evolution happen (insert mad scientist laugh … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, genomics, mutation, yeast | 2 Comments

Caught sweeping ‘cross the sea

  The salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis is an ectoparasite linked to declines in wild salmonid populations as well as causing huge economic losses in salmon farms. Previous studies, using a variety of molecular markers, yielded conflicting results ranging from strong … Continue reading

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Consuming raw or undercooked frogs may increase your risk of getting a rare tapeworm in your brain

A 50-year-old UK resident had been living with an unwelcome visitor for the past 4 years and it was such a headache. Surgeons from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge removed the tapeworm during a biopsy after noticing a small circular lesion … Continue reading

Posted in genomics, medicine, phylogenetics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The latest gadget for the molecular ecologist’s toolkit

Designing a sampling scheme to collect an organism of interest for a population genetic/genomic study can be fraught with difficulty. How best to sample? Randomly? Or, along a grid? How many individuals to sample? Thirty? Or, perhaps, the sample size … Continue reading

Posted in genomics, methods, Molecular Ecology, the journal, natural history, pedigree, population genetics, software | 1 Comment

#EntSoc14, a quick review

I have had a wonderful time at my first big bug conference – the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Amid secretive (or not so secretive) break-out sessions to Voodoo Doughnuts, … Continue reading

Posted in conferences, genomics, phylogenetics, population genetics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

From cats to rats: two studies on domestication and tameness

Anyone who has ever read Charles Darwin is acutely aware of his fascination with domestication – particularly how he fancied fancy pigeons. Darwin drew on his domestication obsession while writing his book, The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, association genetics, domestication, genomics, methods, next generation sequencing, phylogenetics, quantitative genetics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment