What we're reading: A guide to Bioconductor, Latin American admixture, and the sordid truth about academic job hunting


In the journals
Lawrence M., M. Morgan. 2014. Scalable genomics with R and Bioconductor. arXiv:1409.2864.

This paper reviews strategies for solving problems encountered when analyzing large genomic data sets and describes the implementation of those strategies in R by packages from the Bioconductor project.

Ruiz-Linares A., K. Adhikari, V. Acuña-Alonzo, M. Quinto-Sanchez, C. Jaramillo, et al. 2014. Admixture in Latin America: Geographic structure, phenotypic diversity and self-perception of ancestry based on 7,342 individuals. PLoS Genetics. 10(9): e1004572. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004572.

Genetically estimated and self-perceived ancestry correlate significantly, but certain physical attributes have a strong impact on self-perception and bias self-perception of ancestry relative to genetically estimated ancestry.

In the news
“If you say it works, then show us data. Anecdotes are subject to suspicion.”
“Academics lucky enough to be on the tenure track rarely—let’s just round down to never—have a choice about where they live. Their home for the rest of their lives is dependent entirely on which departments can hire in which specialties in a given year.”
“Ever since joining social media I’ve been bemusedly struck by those people who choose to put “Doctor” or “PhD” or even “Professor” in their handles and blog titles- whether they go by a pseudonym or not. Now, of course, I am thinking about whether they were in a boundary condition when they came up with those identifiers.”

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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