What we're reading: Compressed genomes, drafting genes, and the third post-publication peer reviewer

In the journals
Deorowicz, S., A. Danek, and S. Grabowski. 2013. Genome compression: A novel approach for large collections. Bioinformatics 1–7. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btt460.

More precisely, our novel Ziv-Lempel-style compression algorithm squeezes a single
human genome to ~400KB. The key to high compression is to look for similarities across the whole collection, not just against one refer- ence sequence, what is typical for existing solutions.

Kosheleva, K. a, and M. M. Desai. 2013. The dynamics of genetic draft in rapidly adapting populations. Genetics 1–46. doi: 10.1534/genetics.113.156430.

In both asexually reproducing organisms and in regions of low recombination in sexual organisms, the chance congregation of beneficial mutations on competing genetic backgrounds skews evolutionary dynamics. Because of this “clonal interference” effect, the success of a mutation depends not only on its fitness effect, but also on the quality of the genetic background in which it occurs and the fortune of the mutant’s progeny in amassing more beneficial mutations …

In the news
At what point have we shared enough data?
A top-notch long-form piece on the vital importance of gene expression.
How post-publication peer review fails.
An exceptionally detailed guide to the R base graphics package.

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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