Field of Science

Titles in Evolution overload

There are simply too many interesting papers published in evolutionary biology to keep up with. Not even just reading the abstracts is feasible. Here's a sample of what I find the most interesting from the last couple of weeks:

  • Analyses of pig genomes provide insight into porcine demography and evolution
  • Non-random gene flow: an underappreciated force in evolution and ecology
  • Strengths and weaknesses of experimental evolution
  • Gene duplication as a mechanism of genomic adaptation to a changing environment
  • Revisiting an Old Riddle: What Determines Genetic Diversity Levels within Species?
  • Selection of Penicillin-sensitive Mutants of Escherichia coli following Ultraviolet Irradiation
  • Understanding specialism when the jack of all trades can be the master of all
  • How does adaptation sweep through the genome? Insights from long-term selection experiments
  • Evolutionary layering and the limits to cellular perfection
  • The effects of competition on the strength and softness of selection
  • Crossing the threshold: gene flow, dominance and the critical level of standing genetic variation required for adaptation to novel environments
  • From nature to the laboratory: the impact of founder effects on adaptation
  • Spatially explicit models of divergence and genome hitchhiking
  • Why Transcription Factor Binding Sites Are Ten Nucleotides Long
  • Epistasis as the primary factor in molecular evolution
  • The spatial architecture of protein function and adaptation
  • The effects of stochastic and episodic movement of the optimum on the evolution of the G-matrix and the response of the trait mean to selection

Titles in creationism:

  • Mammalian Ark Kinds
Check it out here: Answers Research Journal. They estimate that there are 137 extant kinds, which means that they must admit to substantial diversification and evolution since the Flood...?


  1. Hi. I read some of the articles you've indicated. I found one of them intriguing because it says that random genetic drift can be a barrier for adaptative refinements and that Darwinian processes can't account for long-term increase in adaptation (Evolutionary layering and the limits to cellular perfection). I'm confused - it's supposed that darwinian processes can account for molecular adaptations we see in living things (that are remarkable). Could you explain how this works?

    Thanks for your time.

    Maria Teodosio

    P.S.: The creationists have been picking on me because of this article. I would be grateful for your response.

  2. Hi Maria.

    I have just read the abstract now, and will try to read the paper later.

    For now let me say that i) the paper is contributed. Lynch is a member of NAS, which means he can contribute papers, be the editor of his own submission, and choose reviewers. This is pretty crazy, and a lot of researchers are pretty upset about this. It pretty much means that NAS members can choose friends to review their papers, and that the reviews are then not anonymous. ii) Lynch has for years been advocating that genetic drift (neutral evolution) is more important than selection, and that adaptation by drift is how most evolution happen. Many people disagree with him, as do I, because we see lots of evidence that populations can adapt using beneficial mutations. Here it seems at first glance that he is dismissing these are just being transient. I don't know what his argument is yet, but will get back (here) about it.


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