What we're reading: estimating relatedness and inbreeding, the evolution of influenza, and a new spin on p-values

Dr. Scot Brown's Book Reading
In the journals
Wang J. 2014. Marker-based estimates of relatedness and inbreeding coefficients: an assessment of current methods. J. Evol. Biol. 27:518–530. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12315.

… F and r estimates can be misleading and become biased and marker dependent when a sample containing a high proportion of highly inbred and/or closely related individuals is used as reference.

Worobey M, G-Z Han, A Rambaut. 2014. A synchronized global sweep of the internal genes of modern avian influenza virus. Nature. doi: 10.1038/nature13016.

Here we show that explicitly allowing [influenza A virus] host lineages to have independent rates of molecular evolution is necessary for reliable phylogenetic inference of IAV and that methods that do not do so, including ‘relaxed’ molecular clock models9, can be positively misleading.

In the news
“The irony is that when UK statistician Ronald Fisher introduced the P value in the 1920s, he did not mean it to be a definitive test.” —So how then should we judge statistical significance?
“I make the drawings on a small whiteboard and record it with my iPhone.” —You, too, can make a whiteboard movie.

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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