Category Archives: phylogenetics

Island-Hopping with an E.I.D.

If you live in the U.S. and feel like Zika virus is getting closer to home, that’s because it is. Although there are no known cases of Zika transmission by natural vectors in the lower 48, experts have stressed that … Continue reading

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Posted in evolution, genomics, medicine, phylogenetics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to make the most out of your phylogenetic study

Phylogenetic studies are crucial for ecology and evolution. However, their usefulness for comparative biology or meta-analyses can vary considerably. Especially the inclusion of unidentified species (“Balanus sp.”) obstructs their use in comparative studies. How can I attach life history or morphological data … Continue reading

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New branches on the tree of life

(Trees from Darwin (1837), Haeckel (1866), and Woese (1990)) We’ve come quite a long way since Darwin sketched out his tree in 1837 connecting, with branch tips representing animals and microbes currently in existence and branches and trunks their ancestors. … Continue reading

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hyRAD and museum genomics

While the RAPTURE may have arrived, the development of novel restriction digest-based library prepartation techniques — and portmanteaus — continues unabated. In a paper published in PLoS ONE last month (and previously available as a preprint on bioRxiv), Tomasz Suchan … Continue reading

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

The rise of the fruit flies – Can good science communication make or break a model system?

The answer is: probably not. It is probably more important that the organism thrives in a lab environment, reproduces and hybridizes with speed and ease, and has some additional “desirable” features: think visible mutations in the fruit fly Drosophila, constant cell … Continue reading

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RADseq vs. UCEs, round 3

Though reduced-representation genome sequencing (or high-throughput, or nextgen, or massively parallel sequencing, or…) has become standard practice for molecular ecology labs over the past few years, the relative merits of different library preparation methods remains an active area of research. … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Molecular Dating

Molecular dating is a key tool in deciphering the history of life. In a recent Molecular Biology and Evolution paper, Sudhir Kumar and Blair Hedges have reviewed the state of the subject, summarizing the philosophical and methodological history of this … Continue reading

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