What we’re reading: Arabidopsis and global warming, the species tree of chickadees, and Open Science’s profit motive

Chickadee page 577

In the journals

Li Y, R Cheng, KA Spokas, AA Palmer, and JO Borevitz. 2014. Genetic Variation for Life History Sensitivity to Seasonal Warming in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetics 196:569-77. doi: 10.1534/genetics.113.157628.

The identified genetic architecture allowed accurate prediction of flowering phenotypes (R2 > 0.95) that has application for genomic selection of adaptive genotypes for future environments

Harris RB, MD Carling, IJ Lovette. 2014. The influence of sampling design on species tree inference: A new relationship for the New World chickadees (Aves: Poecile). Evolution. 68:501-13. doi: 10.1111/evo.12280.

Collectively, our analyses contrast with previous studies and support a sister relationship between the Black-capped and Carolina Chickadee, two superficially similar species that hybridize along a long zone of contact. … Our results suggest that relatively few loci with high information content may be sufficient for estimating an accurate species tree, but that substantially more loci are necessary for accurate parameter estimation.

In the news

“I can’t believe I sat through 2 hours and 45 minutes of that.” —P.Z. Meyers watched Bill Nye the Science Guy debate a creationist so you don’t have to. But did it do any good?

“It is the first time since the reading-habit questionnaire began in 1977 that manuscript consumption has not increased.” —In 2012, scientists reported reading about as many papers as they did in 2005, but more in electronic formats.

“For every PeerJ or Figshare (and these are ultimately just as dependent on continued public financing of research as any grant-driven project), we also need more innovative organizations like the Internet Archive, wholly dedicated to the public good and not the relentless pressure to commoditize everything (especially their patrons’ privacy).” —Is Open Science too focused on turning a profit?

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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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