What we're reading

Mitchell Library, Sydney (#24)

As we head into the weekend, here’s a few things that might be worth your screen-time.
In the journals
Byers, J. and S. Dunn. 2012. Bateman in nature: Predation on offspring reduces the potential for sexual selection. Science 338:802–804. DOI: 10.1126/science.1224660.

Data from pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) reveal the presence of a positive Bateman slope in each year of a 10-year study. We found no evidence that random effects skewed male mating success; however, substantial yearly variation in the Bateman slope due to predation on fawns was evident.

(See also commentary by Michael Wade.)
Granka, J. M., B. M. Henn, C. R. Gignoux, J. M. Kidd, C. D. Bustamante and M. W. Feldman. 2012. Limited Evidence for Classic Selective Sweeps in African Populations. Genetics 192:1049–1064. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.112.144071.

We scan for hard selective sweeps using several haplotype and allele-frequency statistics with a data set of nearly 500,000 genome-wide single- nucleotide polymorphisms in 12 highly diverged African populations that span a range of environments and subsistence strategies. … as assessed by extensive simulations, patterns of haplotype sharing between African populations follow neutral expectations and suggest that tails of the empirical distributions contain false-positive signals.

In the blogosphere
Cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy is going to be a long, difficult process for New York City’s scientific institutions.
A captive cockatoo has learned how to make tools — given the right motivation, cashews.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Assistant 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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