What we're reading: Convergent evolution of thrifty yeast, the surprising history of amphibian-killing fungus in Brazil, and novels as biology homework

Book in the Snow
In the journals
Hong J, Gresham D. 2014. Molecular specificity, convergence and constraint shape adaptive evolution in nutrient-poor environments. PLoS Genetics 10(1):e1004041. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004041.

The identification of repeatedly selected variation at functionally related loci that interact epistatically suggests that gene network polymorphisms (GNPs) may be a frequent outcome of adaptive evolution.

Rodriguez D, CG Becker, NC Pupin, CFB Haddad, KR Zamudio. 2014. Long-term endemism of two highly divergent lineages of the amphibian-killing fungus in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Molecular Ecology 23:774-787. doi:10.1111/mec.12615.

Focusing on the Atlantic Forest (AF) of Brazil, we used qPCR assays to determine the presence or absence of [Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis] on 2799 preserved postmetamorphic anurans collected between 1894 and 2010 and used semi-nested PCRs to determine the frequency of rRNA ITS1 haplotypes from 52 samples. Our earliest date of detection was 1894.

In the news
“One of the great things about academic freedom is that we have broad latitude over what happens in our classrooms.” —Does it make sense to assign novels in a biology class?
“It does make me wonder what someone would do if they weren’t happy with their gender gap.” —What should we do about the gender ratio in our collaborations?
“They didn’t understand, no matter how many times I told them, that I didn’t have summers off.” —What it’s like being the only academic in the village family.
Farmer, Miner, Cowboy, Jailer … —What kind of genomics researcher are you?

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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