Malaria Parasite Transmission Flies High when Mosquitos Are Around

A new study published in Evolution Letters has tested the idea that parasites can evolve the ability to time their investment in transmission to match the activity of their vectors. Luke Turner reports: One of the biggest challenges that all organisms face is surviving in their dynamic and constantly changing surroundings. Adapting to fluctuations in … Continue reading Malaria Parasite Transmission Flies High when Mosquitos Are Around

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Measuring selection when you have too many traits that are too correlated

Author blog: Professor John Stinchcombe explains why multicollinearity is not the end of the road for measuring selection on biological traits. Natural selection is the engine of adaptive evolutionary change, and it’s safe to say that evolutionary biologists since Darwin have devoted enormous effort to understanding it. How do we measure it? How strong is … Continue reading Measuring selection when you have too many traits that are too correlated

Guarding Hosts from Parasite Attack – The Rapid Evolution of a Defensive Mutualism

How do organisms protect themselves against harmful parasites? One way might be to form mutualistic relationships with microbes who help defend their host. A new study, published in Evolution Letters, has demonstrated that beneficial co-dependent relationships can evolve remarkably quickly between hosts and bacteria, with important positive effects on host health. Luke Turner reports: Organisms … Continue reading Guarding Hosts from Parasite Attack – The Rapid Evolution of a Defensive Mutualism

Hybrid Incompatibilities Stop Selfish Sex Chromosomes Flying North

A new study published in Evolution Letters has demonstrated a crucial role for genetic incompatibility in preventing the spread of selfish sex chromosomes across populations. Science blogger Luke Turner tells us more. Competition between genes can be fierce in the battle to be expressed in the next generation. While this is often manifested as competition … Continue reading Hybrid Incompatibilities Stop Selfish Sex Chromosomes Flying North

Sexy sons and greenbeards

In our latest author blog, Gonçalo Faria explains how his new paper in Evolution Letters investigates the connections between two classic ideas in evolutionary biology: the "sexy son hypothesis" and the "greenbeard effect". Two major theories dominate contemporary evolutionary biology: sexual selection, which concerns how natural selection can work through differences in mating success; and … Continue reading Sexy sons and greenbeards

The conflict beneath your feet: tradeoffs between attracting beneficial microbes and repelling parasites in the plant root microbiome

A guest author blog by Dr Corlett Wolfe Wood Nearly all organisms rely on other species to perform crucial physiological functions, from digesting food to fighting disease. Beneficial microbes in our own gut, for example, are an essential component of digestive health. Such cooperative interactions between species, known as mutualisms, are evolutionarily ancient and are … Continue reading The conflict beneath your feet: tradeoffs between attracting beneficial microbes and repelling parasites in the plant root microbiome

How evolution helps us manage antibiotic resistance

Invited author blog by Rees Kassen It will come as no surprise to most readers of this blog that antimicrobial resistance, or AMR for short, is a major global health challenge. Every year since 2013 there have been global warnings – from the World Economic Forum, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations General … Continue reading How evolution helps us manage antibiotic resistance

Different different but same: Parallel evolution of gene expression in Caribbean Pupfishes

Guest author post: Joe McGirr tells Evolution Letters how two very different Cyprinodon pupfish species have a surprising amount in common. The phrase “Same same but different” is something you might hear while backpacking across southeast Asia. For example, a couple of summers ago I found myself in a small shop in Bangkok haggling for … Continue reading Different different but same: Parallel evolution of gene expression in Caribbean Pupfishes