What we're reading

Libraries are Creepy

As we head into the weekend, here’s a few things that might be worth your screen-time.
In the journals
Shull, G. 1909. The “presence and absence” hypothesis. The American Naturalist 43:410–419. DOI: 10.1086/279073.

The “presence and absence” hypothesis assumes that what appears to be a pair of charactersin Mendelian inheritance is really the presence and absence of a single character. This hypothesis has now won the support of most of the leading experimental students of heredity. The fact that the absence of certain characters dominates over their presence has appeared to some to be a difficulty. This paper shows that no such difficultyis involved and simple chemical experimentsare cited which, if duplicated among plants and animals, as they no doubt are, would give the dominance of absence over presence without recourse to “inhibiting factors.”

Wang, I. J., R. E. Glor and J. B. Losos. 2012. Quantifying the roles of ecology and geography in spatial genetic divergence. Ecology Letters. DOI: 10.1111/ele.12025.

Both ecological and geographical factors can reduce gene flow, which can lead to population divergence, but we know little of the relative strengths of these phenomena in nature. Here, we use a novel application of structural equation modelling to quan- tify the contributions of ecological and geographical isolation to spatial genetic divergence in 17 species of Anolis lizards.

In the blogosphere
Have you submitted your advice to our “Knowing what I know now” carnival? Why not? Go do that now.
Granting agencies are starting to accept web traffic as an impact metric.
“It is crucial that scientists take more career risks and sound a more realistic, more desperate, note on the global-warming problem.”

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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