Category Archives: genomics

You can evolve there from here. And from here. And here …

If evolutionary history somehow reverted back to the “warm little pond” in which life began, and started over from almost-scratch, would the re-diversification of life end up, four billion years later, pretty much as we see it today? I think … Continue reading

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How many genes does it take to make a new species?

Three-spined sticklebacks are speciation machines. When retreating glaciers exposed lakes and rivers around the coasts of northern North America and Eurasia, these armor-plated little fish colonized the new freshwater habitats from the ocean, and adapted to the threats and resources … Continue reading

Posted in genomics, population genetics, quantitative genetics, speciation | Tagged , | 5 Comments

How A Troublesome Inheritance gets human genetics wrong

Probably since before the origin of modern Homo sapiens, we have known that people from other places—the next village over, the other side of the mountains, or some distant and unexplored land—were different from us. Some of those differences were … Continue reading

Posted in book review, genomics, population genetics | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Selection keeps an extra-close eye on multi-functional genes

Genes that have roles in multiple traits—pleiotropic genes—have long been thought to be under stronger selection as a result of those multiple functions. The basic logic is that, when a gene produces a protein that has a lot of different … Continue reading

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Scanning the genome for local adaptation

One of the most obvious and important applications of evolutionary genetics is in figuring out whether natural biological communities are going to be able to adapt to global climate change. The projected rate of climate change over then next century … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, association genetics, genomics, next generation sequencing | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Identifying and quantifying fitness effects across loci

The following guest post by Ethan Jewett is cross-posted from the is cross-posted from the CEHG blog at Stanford. Enjoy! The degree to which similarities and differences among species are the result of natural selection, rather than genetic drift, is … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, genomics, population genetics, theory | 1 Comment

On “triangulation” in genome scans

Guest contributor K.E. Lotterhos is a marine biologist at Wake Forest University, who studies evolutionary responses to fishing and climate change. You can find her on Twitter under then handle @dr_k_lo. A major goal of evolutionary biology is to understand the genetic … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, association genetics, genomics, methods, population genetics, quantitative genetics | 2 Comments

No reference genome? No problem! Demographic inference from genomic data in nonmodel insect populations

This guest article by Martin Sikora is cross-posted from the Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genomics blog at Stanford University. Reconstructing the demographic history of species and populations is one of the major goals of evolutionary genetics. Inferring the timing and … Continue reading

Posted in genomics, next generation sequencing, population genetics | 2 Comments

Sequencer to the stars

No single person is responsible for the revolution in genetic data collection that has reshaped biology over just a handful of decades, but if you had to make a list of people deserving credit, Craig Venter’s name would be among … Continue reading

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Getting started with Ultra Conserved Elements

Cross posted on If you attended Evolution 2013, you probably heard quite a lot of chatter about ultra conserved elements. Essentially, ultra conserved elements (UCEs) are parts of the genome that are highly conserved between different species. Although UCEs … Continue reading

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