What we're reading


As we head into the weekend, here’s some things we’ve been reading that might be worth your screen time.
In the journals
Irschick, D.J., Albertson, R.C., Brennan, P., Podos, J., Johnson, N. a, Patek, S., et al. 2013. Evo-devo beyond morphology: from genes to resource use. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 1–7. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2012.12.004

We suggest that the fields of evo-devo, functional mor- phology, and evolutionary ecology should be united under a common framework based on three predictions. The first is that morphological disparity should scale positively with functional complexity among different radiations. The second is that functional complexity should correlate negatively with the predictability of evolutionary divergence within lineages, and the third is that functional complexity should define the genetic architecture of adaptive radiations.

Delplancke, M., Alvarez, N., Benoit, L., Espíndola, A., I Joly, H., Neuenschwander, S., et al. 2013. Evolutionary history of almond tree domestication in the Mediterranean basin. Molecular Ecology 22: 1092–104. doi: 10.1111/mec.12129

Whereas conservative chloroplast SSRs show a widespread haplotype and rare locally distributed variants, nuclear SSRs show a pattern of isolation by distance with clines of diversity from the East to the West of the Mediterranean basin, while Bayesian genetic clustering reveals a substantial longitudinal genetic structure. Both kinds of markers thus support a single domestication event, in the eastern side of the Mediter- ranean basin.

In the blogosphere
Fixing NIH science funding: First, a vexed conversation, then a righteous rant, then some specific proposals.
Jerry Coyne explains why he thinks epigenetics isn’t going to revolutionize evolutionary biology.

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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