Category Archives: mutation

Is the neutral theory dead?

You might have noticed how the world of genetics was shaking as the giants of theoretical population genetics started discussing some of the most fundamental questions in the arena of Twittersphere. This happened after the publication of Andrew Kern and Matthew … Continue reading

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At the molecular level, there’s more than one way to fly higher

Parallel adaptation is coming into its own lately, as we’re increasingly able to examine the molecular changes underlying similar adaptations in distantly related species. A fundamental prediction of evolutionary theory is that species coping with the same environment should converge … Continue reading

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Visualizing the evolution of bacterial resistance

You have probably already seen this. It’s pretty amazing and beautiful and I watched it more than once (although I won’t say how many times….). If by some chance you didn’t catch this fantastic video, don’t fret, I’m here to … Continue reading

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Building bridges across the chaos

In a new review, Eldon and co-authors (in press) attempt to build a bridge across the chaos of genetic patchiness in the sea. They i) describe the patterns characterized as chaotic genetic patchiness, ii) discuss the potential causes of these patterns and … Continue reading

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Posted in evolution, genomics, mutation, natural history, next generation sequencing, phylogenetics, phylogeography, population genetics, selection | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Microbes can rapidly evolve host-protective traits

One of the coolest studies I’ve come across so far this year is the fascinating story about microbe-mediated protection in worms by Kayla King et al. The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis normally causes mild disease in worms (Caenorhabditis elegans). After a week … Continue reading

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New insight into the genetic basis of industrial melanism

The evolution of coloration in peppered moths during the industrial revolution is one of the most well known examples of natural selection in action. Part of the appeal of the system is the apparent simplicity. The once-abundant light colored morph … Continue reading

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Catching evolution in the act with the Singleton Density Score

A recent study led by Jonathan K. Pritchard at Stanford University brought a media storm with catchy headlines in both of the flagship scientific outlets Nature and Science News. Aside from highlighting the question of preprints without peer review being … Continue reading

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Posted in methods, mutation, population genetics, selection | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

What does the island fox say?

Small populations are characterized by large drift and reduced efficacy of selection effects, which result in fixation of both advantageous and deleterious alleles, accumulation of homozygosity, and often reduction in population fitness. What with plummeting mammal populations across biota, understanding … Continue reading

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The why’s of sex

Sex isn’t quite what it seems – while superficially wasteful in an evolutionary sense (why inherit on only one half of your genes, when you can inherit all of them asexually, or why waste resources in mating when you don’t … Continue reading

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Posted in adaptation, evolution, genomics, mutation, natural history, next generation sequencing, population genetics, selection, theory, yeast | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A different perspective on genetic architecture

As an ecological geneticist, I’m constantly reminded how much we don’t understand about the genetic nature of adaptive variation. Sure, we have lots of examples of genes/pathways/regions that seem to be responsible for adaptation, but we don’t really know if … Continue reading

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Posted in association genetics, evolution, genomics, mutation, quantitative genetics, theory | Leave a comment