What we're reading: mutational bias, local adaptation, insecticide resistance, and CC-BY licensing

In the journals
Berg, J. J., and G. Coop. 2013. The population genetic signature of polygenic local adaptation. arXiv: 1307.7759v1. See also Haldane’s Sieve.

We exploit the fact that GWAS provide an estimate of the additive effect size of many loci, to estimate the mean additive genetic value for a give phenotype across many populations as simple weighted sums of allele frequencies. While these genetic values may be poor predictors of true phenotypes, they contain a great deal of information about the genetic variation underlying the phenotype of interest, and they lend themselves to a reasonably complete description under a simple null model of genetic drift.

ffrench-Constant, R. H. 2013. The molecular genetics of insecticide resistance. Genetics 194:807–815. doi: 10.1534/genetics.112.141895.

Key questions addressed are therefore: How many mutations per gene cause resistance? How many mechanisms are there per species (genome)? How many independent genetic origins (mutations) give rise to each mechanism? What new mechanisms are still undiscovered and how might they arise?

Charlesworth, B. 2013. Stabilizing selection, purifying selection and mutational bias in finite populations. Genetics 194:955–971. doi: 10.1534/genetics.113.151555.
In the news
What kind of license should you use for your open-access article?
Is the tenure track worth it even if you never get tenure?
Finally, are biologists starting too many sentences with adverbs? (via Dynamic Ecology)

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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