What we're reading

As we head into the weekend, here’s a few things we’ve noticed that might be worth your screen-time.
In the journals
Garud, N.R., Messer, P.W., Buzbas, E.O. & Petrov, D.A. Soft selective sweeps are the primary mode of recent adaptation in. arXiv: 1303.0906.

Here, we developed a statistical test based on a haplotype statistic, H12, capable of detecting both hard and soft sweeps with similar power. We used H12 to identify multiple genomic regions that have undergone recent and strong adaptation using a population sample of fully sequenced Drosophila melanogaster strains (DGRP). We then developed a second statistical test based on a statistic H2/H1 | H12, to test whether a given selective sweep detected by H12 is hard or soft. Surprisingly, when applying the test based on H2/H1 | H12 to the top 50 most extreme H12 candidates in the DGRP data, we reject the hard sweep hypothesis in every case.

Lee, M.-C. & Marx, C.J. 2013. Synchronous waves of failed soft sweeps in the laboratory: Remarkably rampant clonal interference of alleles at a single locus. Genetics 193: 943–952. doi: 10.1534/genetics.112.148502.

Here we uncovered a dramatic example of clonal interference between multiple similar mutations occurring at the same locus within replicate populations of Methylobacterium extorquens AM1. … Despite conferring a large selective benefit, the majority of these alleles rose and then fell in frequency due to other lineages emerging that were more fit.

In the blogosphere
How reliable (or, well, consistent) are the species descriptions in field guides?
New to Tim: Stephen Jay Gould may have fudged the numbers on his exposé of number-fudging in The Mismeasure of Man.
There is a Tumblr of beautiful scientific illustrations, because of course there is.

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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