What we're reading: Ancestral haplotype identification, narcolepsy and influenza, and phony baloney in the supplement aisle

2010: Things I Read
In the journals
Brandvain, Y., T. Slotte, K. M. Hazzouri, S. I. Wright, and G. Coop. 2013. Genomic identification of founding haplotypes reveals the history of the selfing species Capsella rubella. PLoS Genet. 9:e1003754. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003754.

Due to the recency of [their] split, much of the variation within C. rubella is also found within C. grandiflora. We can therefore identify genomic regions where two C. rubella individuals have inherited the same or different segments of ancestral diversity (i.e. founding haplotypes) present in C. rubella’s founder(s). Based on this analysis, we show that C. rubella was founded by multiple individuals drawn from a diverse ancestral population closely related to extant C. grandiflora, that drift and selection have rapidly homogenized most of this ancestral variation since C. rubella’s founding, and that little novel variation has accumulated within this time.

Han, F., J. Faraco, X. S. Dong, H. M. Ollila, L. Lin, J. Li, P. An, S. Wang, K. W. Jiang, Z. C. Gao, L. Zhao, H. Yan, Y. N. Liu, Q. H. Li, X. Z. Zhang, Y. Hu, J. Y. Wang, Y. H. Lu, C. J. Lu, W. Zhou, J. Hallmayer, Y. S. Huang, K. P. Strohl, T. Pollmächer, and E. Mignot. 2013. Genome wide analysis of narcolepsy in China implicates novel immune loci and reveals changes in association prior to versus after the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. PLoS Genet. 9:e1003880. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003880.

Our results illustrate how genetic association can change in the presence of new environmental challenges and suggest that the monitoring of genetic architecture over time may help reveal the appearance of novel triggers for autoimmune diseases.

In the news
Authors who retract their own papers are less likely to see a decline in citations of their other work than those who have papers retracted for them.
Is there life after graduate school? It looks like there is if your dissertation advisor was David Hillis.
How Nazi-era scientific work haunts us to this day, including in U.S. abortion politics.
DNA barcoding discovers herbal supplements containing fillers, the wrong thing, toxic alternatives, and no detectable trace of herbs.

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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