What we're reading: The vital importance of mosquitoes' gut microbes, an app for classroom genetics, and how to fish for p-values without really trying

Reading Place
In the journals
Coon, K. L., K. J. Vogel, M. R. Brown, and M. R. Strand. 2014. Mosquitoes rely on their gut microbiota for development. Molecular Ecology. 2727–2739. doi: 10.1111/mec.12771.

Functional assays showed that axenic larvae of each species failed to develop beyond the first instar. Experiments with Ae. aegypti indi- cated several members of the microbial community and Escherichia coli successfully colonized axenic larvae and rescued development.

Myers, R. B., B. Millman, and M. A. F. Noor. 2014. Genetics and evolution: An iOS application to supplement introductory courses in transmission and evolutionary genetics. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. 4:779–781. doi: 10.1534/g3.114.010215.

The app provides demonstrations of Mendelian inheritance and population genetics, it assists with calculations common in genetics classes associated with these principles (e.g., recombination fraction), and it generates unique practice problems with which students can practice or professors can design assessments.

In the news
“It seems that negative events are necessary and we use them to avoid making the same mistakes again. It doesn’t need to be dramatic, it can be something as apparently positive as constructively worded critical feedback.”
“Wade wants us to cut up human diversity into five races not because that’s what the statistical analyses show, but because thinking about it as a gradient is hard.”
“Our key point here is that it is possible to have multiple potential comparisons, in the sense of a data analysis whose details are highly contingent on data, without the researcher performing any conscious procedure of fishing or examining multiple p-values.”

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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