What we're reading: GWAS hits lost in translation, the mutational load of range expansions, and killing the comments section to save science

Reading Corner
In the journals
Carlson, C. S., Matise, T. C., North, K. E., Haiman, C. a., Fesinmeyer, M. D., Buyske, S., … Kooperberg, C. L. (2013). Generalization and dilution of association results from European GWAS in populations of non-European ancestry: The PAGE study. PLoS Biology, 11(9):e1001661. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001661.

… 25% of tagSNPs identified in EA [European ancestry] GWAS have significantly different effect sizes in at least one non-EA population, and these differential effects were most frequent in African Americans where all differential effects were diluted toward the null.

Peischl, S., Dupanloup, I., Kirkpatrick, M., & Excoffier, L. (2013). On the accumulation of deleterious mutations during range expansions. Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/mec.12524.

We find that deleterious mutations accumulate steadily on the wave front during range expansions, thus creating an expansion load. Reduced fitness due to the expansion load is not restricted to the wave front but occurs over a large proportion of newly colonized habitats.

In the news
Popular Science closes its comments section, citing evidence that they’re bad for science communication.
More advice during academic job-hunting season: the one way to guarantee you don’t get a position is, don’t apply to it.
A new “task view” for R focuses on packages necessary to interact with online resources and websites.

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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