What we're reading

2010.03.30 - Ramona in her nook

As we head into the weekend, here’s a few things we found this week that might be worth your screen time:
In the journals
Calcagno, V., E. Demoinet, K. Gollner, L. Guidi, D. Ruths and C. de Mazancourt. 2012. Flows of research manuscripts among scientific journals reveal hidden submission patterns. Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1227833.

Here, we report results from a large-scale survey of the submission process, covering 923 scientific journals from the biological sciences in years 2006–2008. … about 75% of published articles were submitted first to the journal that would publish them, and high-impact journals published proportionally more articles that had been resubmitted from another journal.

Moss-Racusin, C. a., J. F. Dovidio, V. L. Brescoll, M. J. Graham and J. Handelsman. 2012. Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1211286109.

In a randomized double-blind study (n = 127), science faculty from research-intensive universities rated the application materials of a student—who was randomly assigned either a male or female name—for a laboratory manager position. Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. … The gender of the faculty participants did not affect responses, such that female and male faculty were equally likely to exhibit bias against the female student.

Nuismer, S. L., a. MacPherson and E. B. Rosenblum. 2012. Crossing the threshold: gene flow, dominance and the critical level of standing genetic variation required for adaptation to novel environments. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12002.

Here, we use a combination of analytical approximations and individual-based simulations to explore how dominance influences the likelihood of adaptation to novel peripheral environments. We demonstrate that in the face of recurrent maladaptive gene flow, recessive alleles can fuel adaptation only when their frequency exceeds a critical threshold within the ancestral range.

In the blogosphere
Some gorgeous photos of spawning salmon. NSFW if you’re a fish.
Further commentary on that gender bias study by Moss-Racusin et al.
Personal genomics now lets you find out how much of your genome is Neanderthal.
Want a Nobel Prize? Better eat more chocolate.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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