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 Yoder is an Assistant Professor of Biology at California State University, Northridge. He also blogs at Denim and Tweed, and tweets under the handle @jbyoder.
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