What we’re reading- Dec 13, 2013

A bitter taste in animal mouths
New research article on the evolution of a gene family of taste receptors that signal bitter (ie- potentially toxic) across 54 species. Gene loss and duplication vary across the phylogenetic tree and are also correlated with plant diets.

Use of time series in population genetic studies
The authors advocate for time series studies of genetic diversity and population structure and include a discussion of sampling design from museum specimens.

New Conservation
Marvier defends the “new conservation” movement in response to Soulé’s editorial, which argued that conservation efforts incorporating human needs and local economies are not an equivalent substitute for traditional conservation, and may adversely affect biodiversity.

Polyandry in salamanders
Mating with multiple males increases fitness of female salamanders.

Networks and graph theory applied to comics
Marvel Comics has produced a social network of all of their characters using networks and graph theory. Similarly, the interactions in metabolic, protein, or transcriptomic networks can be visualized, interpreted, or even manipulated in silco to answer questions about how cells or tissues cross-talk.

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