news aggregator

April 29, 2015

00:35

Postdoc and technician positions Flix lab, Paris, France Co-evolution of Caenorhabditis and viral pathogens A postdoctoral position and a technician position are available in the laboratory of Marie-Anne Flix, Ecole Normale Suprieure, Paris, France to study the mechanistic basis of the evolution in sensitivity of the nematodes C. elegans and C. briggsae to three viral pathogens. On the host side, the molecular basis of observed variation in sensitivity and specificity will be studied using quantitative genetic methods (cf. Ashe et al. eLife 2013, 2:e00994) and molecular genetics. On the virus side, changes in host specificity will be studied using transgenic reconstitution of the viruses in Caenorhabditis (Jiang et al. J. Virology 2014, 88:11774). The positions are for two to three years starting from 1 October 2015. For interested candidates, please send a letter of motivation, a Curriculum Vitae and a list of three referees. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions. Marie-Anne Flix e-mail: felix@biologie.ens.fr http://bit.ly/1drid4y The lab is located in the center of Paris. Marie-Anne Felix Institute of Biology of the Ecole Normale Suprieure (IBENS) 46 rue d'Ulm, 75230 Paris cedex 05, France 8th floor. Office: Room 801. Lab: Room 817. mail: felix@biologie.ens.fr Tel: +33-1-44-32-39-44 http://bit.ly/1drid4y STRAINS: http://bit.ly/1KsCLoe felix@biologie.ens.fr via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR
00:19
Title: University of Otago, New Zealand, Bird genomics A PhD position is available to study the evolution and conservation of New Zealand bird species with Dr Michael Knapp at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Project details: The New Zealand bird fauna is unique in the world and a key element of New Zealand’s natural heritage. In the absence of mammals, birds have evolved to fill their ecological niches. This unusual situation has for example given rise to the world’s largest raptor, Haast’s Eagle, the ecological equivalent of a lion or tiger. New Zealand is also home to the only alpine parrot in the world, the Kea, and the world’s only flightless parrot, the Kakapo. The New Zealand bird fauna is a model for adaptive evolution comparable to the famous Galpagos finches that inspired Darwin’s work. However, due to their adaptions to a mammal free environment, New Zealand birds have suffered dramatic losses through introduced mammalian predators with many species now depending on intensive conservation efforts. Because of their evolutionary relevance, the conservation of New Zealand birds is of more than national importance. Understanding the evolution of New Zealand birds and preserving them for the future are global challenges. Second generation sequencing technology now allows us to address these challenges with an unprecedented amount of genetic information. As part of a new, Royal Society funded research programme our lab will use genomic data to study the molecular basis of the adaptations New Zealand birds have developed to fit into their unique environment. We will also use these data to evaluate and develop conservation strategies for some of New Zealands most endangered bird species. We are looking for a PhD student with skills in bioinformatics and genomic analyses to undertake research on bird evolution and conservation using whole genome data. The ideal candidate would have skills in programming, with a background in bioinformatics and a strong training and interest in genetics. For scholarship and application details please see: http://bit.ly/1AeJQmo and http://bit.ly/1AeJQmq While there is no fixed application deadline, the selection process will start soon so an early application is advantageous. For questions about the project, please contact Dr Michael Knapp (michael.knapp@otago.ac.nz). Michael Knapp via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR

April 28, 2015

22:30

I have noted before that Pedigrees and phylogenies are networks not trees. For example, a human family "tree" is a tree only if it includes one sex alone. Otherwise, it must be a network when traced backwards from any single individual through both parents, because the lineages must eventually coalesce in a pair of shared common ancestors.

This potentially creates a problem for maintaining genetic diversity within species. If a pedigree is tree-like, then each person would, for example, have 32 great-great-great grand-parents. These 32 people's genes are mixed more-or-less randomly (depending on recombination and assortment) to produce the great-great-great grand-child. This heterozygosity is a good thing, evolutionarily, because there is then genetic diversity within that person.

However, inbreeding turns a tree into a network. This increases the probability that identical alleles will be paired in any one individual. If deleterious recessive alleles are thereby expressed, then genetic problems can ensue, which is called inbreeding depression. However, this situation is not inevitable, but depends on the probability of alleles becoming paired. Indeed, for domesticated organisms, inbreeding is the norm (see Thoroughbred horses and reticulate pedigrees).

I have discussed examples of well-known historical figures who have encountered the unfortunate effects of inbreeding, including Charles Darwin (Charles Darwin's family pedigree network) and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (Toulouse-Lautrec: family trees and networks). In both cases the problems arose because of consanguineous relationships, which involve people who are first cousins or more closely related.

I have also discussed the extreme case of consanguinity, incest. In particular, royalty have often been exempt from taboos against sibling and parent-child couplings, as noted in Tutankhamun and extreme consanguinity and also in Cleopatra, ambition and family networks. At least for Tutankhamun there is evidence of genetic problems (an accumulation of malformations is evident), but apparently not in Cleopatra's case (there is no convincing evidence of infertility, infant mortality or genetic defects, for example). Royalty have not been the only exceptions to the incest taboo (see Evolutionary fitness and incest).

In Tutankhamun's case it has been suggested that his mother was his father's (Akhenaten) sister (name not known), which is surprising, because only two wives of Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Kiya, are known to have had the title of Great Royal Wife, which the father of the royal heir should bear. As a way out of this dilemma, Marc Gabolde has suggested that the apparent genetic closeness of Tutankhamun's parents is because his mother was his father's first cousin, Nefertiti. The apparent genetic closeness is then not the result of a single brother-sister mating but instead is due to three successive instances of marriage between first cousins.

To explain this idea we can look at an actual example. An historical example of how consanguinity can produce the same genetic effects as incest is provided by the Spanish branch of the Habsburg dynasty in 1700, as discussed in Family trees, pedigrees and hybridization networks.

This example can be explained using inbreeding F values. For any specified offspring, these indicate the probability of paired alleles being identical by descent (ie. due to the close relationship of the parents). For close family relationships the F values are:
self
parent-offspring
siblings
uncle-niece = aunt-nephew
double first cousins
first cousins
first cousins once removed
second cousins 0.500
0.250
0.250
0.125
0.125
0.063
0.031
0.016Note that incest produces F values of 0.250 while consanguinity values are 0.063 or greater.

If we consider the case of King Charles II of Spain (1661-1700), then his inbreeding F = 0.254, which was achieved entirely without incestuous relationships. His pedigree is shown in the post Family trees, pedigrees and hybridization networks.

This pedigree shows that the parents of each person had the following relationships:

himself = uncle-niece [ie. his parents were uncle and niece]

father = first cousins once removed [ie. his father's parents were first cousins once removed]
mother = first cousins

father's father = (a) = uncle-niece
father's mother = (b) = uncle-niece
mother's father = first cousins
mother's mother = first cousins once removed

father's father's father = not closely related
father's father's mother = first cousins
father's mother's father = not closely related
father's mother's mother = not closely related
mother's father's father = uncle-niece
mother's father's mother = second cousins
mother's mother's father = see person (a)
mother's mother's mother = see person (b)

Thus, on his father's side he was the third generation of consecutive consanguinity, and on his mother's side he was the fourth generation of consecutive consanguinity. This is simply an accumulating series of probabilities — consanguinity potentially produces problems and consecutive consanguinity simply increases the probability.

It is not surprising, then, that Charles suffered genetic problems (he was disfigured, physically disabled and mentally retarded) to such an extent that his royal lineage came to an end, and the Spanish branch of the Habsburg dynasty ceased to rule.

Incidentally, the scientist who devised the quantity F, Sewall Wright, himself had a rather high amount of inbreeding — his parents were first cousins.

22:00
A number of independent efforts have compiled global plant databases on functionally important traits of leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers. These databases are comprised of 1000's to tens of 1000's of species. With a few notable exceptions, they have not been analyzed in an evolutionary or phylogenetic context. However, when synthesized with a modern molecular phylogeny, these data could tell a comprehensive, multivariate story of the evolution of plant functional diversity. In this working group, we will merge multiple databases to explore the rate (tempo, sensu GG Simpson) of evolution of these traits and the best fit evolutionary model(s) (mode) underlying the trait diversification of land plants. We will ask 1. whether important divergences in trait space occurred along similar branches for different traits, 2. whether there were periods of evolution when trait diversification was especially rapid, and 3. whether there were interactions between trait evolution and rates of speciation and extinction. This work will lead to a new community resource of great interest—an internally synced trait matrix—matched with the current state-of-the-art phylogeny. These data can then be synthesized with fossil evidence to explore whether the tempo and mode of trait evolution in extant and extinct taxa provide similar stories. Furthermore, these data will provide a powerful view into the coordinated (or lack thereof) evolution of ecologically important traits across vascular plants—one of the most diverse and important lineages in the world today.
Source: NESCent
01:41

Short version: Join a global snapshot of biodiversity for National Geographic$B!G(Bs Great Nature Project Our goal is to record as many species as possible from all over the world, and we need your help to put biodiversity on the map. http://bit.ly/1DRZS68 – via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR
01:20
*http://bit.ly/1Jx3AK8 * *Job Summary: * The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has an exciting opportunity for a Research Technician to join one of its laboratories at the University of California, Berkeley. The laboratory studies choanoflagellates, the closest living relatives of animals, to reconstruct animal origins and investigate molecular mechanisms underlying host-microbe interactions. We seek a highly motivated and exceptionally organized biologist to assist in developing genetics and genome editing in the emerging model choanoflagellate species S. rosetta. Individuals seeking an exciting research opportunity are invited to apply. *Principal Responsibilities: * - Perform flow cytometry to track ploidy changes in choanoflagellates. - Generate and perform microscopy to screen for choanoflagellate mutants. - Isolate, catalog, and characterize new mutant strains. - Prepare DNA and RNA for gene delivery. - Troubleshoot methods for gene delivery, including transfection and electroporation. - Keep meticulous laboratory records. - Participate in laboratory meetings and planning sessions. - Read literature relevant to research areas as required. - Assist lab members in a variety of cellular and molecular biology techniques in other projects ongoing in the lab. *Preferred Qualifications: * - Bachelors or Masters degree in Biology, Bioengineering or a related field. - Knowledge of basic principles of genetics, gained through coursework or prior laboratory experience. - At least one year of experience working in a laboratory setting. - Experience with molecular biology techniques, flow cytometry, microscopy, tissue culture, and sterile technique. - Demonstrated ablility to troubleshoot and perform a variety of new techniques. - Exceptional organizational skills and record keeping. - Strong oral and written communication. - Self-motivated, detail-oriented and able to perform complex tasks effectively and independently with general instruction, while being engaged in a collaborative project. *To apply*, please send a single .pdf file that includes the following to Heather L. Middleton (Lab Manager, kinglab@berkeley.edu) with the following: Cover letter Resume, emphasizing prior research experience Contact information for three references Course transcripts Please include “Research Technician” in the subject line of your email. Application Deadline: Open Until Filled *HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer* N King via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
00:59
Postdoctoral Position in Bioinformatics - University of Ottawa The Corradi Lab is currently seeking a postdoctoral fellow in Bioinformatics to work on projects related to Comparative and Population Genomics. The research will be led by Dr. Nicolas Corradi and carried out in a CIFAR (Canadian Institute for Advanced Research) - affiliated laboratory located in the Department of Biology of the University of Ottawa, Canada. Website: http://bit.ly/1PQoOn3 The position is initially funded for one year, with the possibility of renewal for up to three years, depending on performance. The candidate is expected to work on two ongoing lab projects: 1) Populations genomics of global samples of the bee-pathogen Nosema ceranae The recent decline in global populations of honey-bees has been attributed to a many factors, including infections from the microsporidian pathogen Nosema ceranae. Despite the potential threat that this parasite may have on global bee populations, the basic biology of this species is not well understood. The present project aims to increase our knowledge of the N. ceranae¡¯s biology by exploring the extent, nature and function of genome diversity that exist both within and between dozens of parasite samples isolated globally (i.e. Spain, France, Turkey, Thailand, USA..etc¡­). 2) Population genomics of global isolates of the model plant symbiont, Rhizophagus irregularis The Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) are ubiquitous plant symbionts that improve the ability of roots to uptake nutrients from soil and provide protection against plant pathogens. These organisms are intriguing as they harbor many nuclei within one cytoplasm throughout their entire life cycle. The genetic organization of these nuclei has been debated for years, but recent genome analyses in our lab are providing essential insights to this debate. The proposed project aims to increase our knowledge of biology and evolution of these curious fungi and critical symbionts by investigating the genome diversity within and across different strains of the model AMF R. irregularis sampled globally. For specific enquiries please contactDr. Nicolas Corradi (ncorradi@uottawa.ca). Applicants are expected to have a strong background in either comparative genomics or populations genomics. Experience in either population genetics, environmental genomics, metagenomics, or ab-initio gene annotation and programming will be seen as an asset for the final selection of the candidate. Training in bioinformatics (Perl, Python, or R) is desired. A complete application package includes a CV, a one-page description of past research accomplishments and future goals, and the names and e-mail addresses of at least 2 references. The position opens immediately, and evaluation of applications will continue until a suitable candidate is found. The University of Ottawa is a large, research-intensive university, hosting over 40,000 students and located in the downtown core area of Canada¡¯s capital city (http://bit.ly/OBmsOT). Ottawa is a vibrant, multicultural city with a very high quality of life (http://bit.ly/1dxMqIo) Applications can be sent to Dr. Nicolas Corradi (ncorradi@uottawa.ca). Representative publications: Pelin A., Selman M., Laurent Farinelli, Aris-Brosou S. and N. Corradi. 2015. Genome analyses suggest the presence of polyploidy and recent human-driven expansions in eight global populations of the honeybee pathogen Nosema ceranae. Environmental Microbiology Ropars J. and N. Corradi. 2015. Heterokaryotic vs Homokaryotic Mycelium in the Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi: Different Techniques, Different Results? New Phytologist Corradi, N. 2015. Microsporidians: Intracellular Parasites Shaped by Gene Loss and Horizontal Gene Transfer. Annual Review of Microbiology Riley R., Charron P., Idnurm A., Farinelli F., Yolande D. , Martin F. and N. Corradi. 2014. Extreme diversification of the mating type¨Chigh©\mobility group (MATA©\HMG) gene family in a plant©\associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus. New Phytologist Tisserant E., Malbreil M. et al. 2013. Genome of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus provides insight into the oldest plant symbiosis. PNAS Nicolas Corradi Professeur Agr¨¦g¨¦ / Associate Professor Boursier de l'Institut canadien en recherches avanc¨¦es / Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Universit¨¦ d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa D¨¦partement de biologie / Department of Biology Pavillon Gendron / Gendron Hall Bureau 257 / Room 257 30 Marie Curie Priv. Ottawa ON Canada K1N 6N5 Tel. +1 (613) 5625800 # 6563 Website:http://bit.ly/OBmsOV Nicolas Corradi via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR

April 27, 2015

23:55
NERC PhD studentship: Jumping the species barrier: understanding how pathogens switch hosts Ref: 1845 About the award The University of Exeter is inviting applications for this NERC-funded PhD studentship to commence as soon as possible. For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax free stipend of at least 13,863pa for three and a half years. The student would be based in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall. Academic Supervisors: Dr Camille Bonneaud (University of Exeter, Penryn Campus) Prof Angus Buckling (University of Exeter, Penryn Campus) Project Description: Emerging infectious outbreaks are a major threat to humans, domestic animals and wildlife. A better understanding of how pathogens switch hosts and subsequently adapt to their novel host represents an exciting field in evolutionary biology with significant ramifications for epidemiology, conservation and medicine. In this project, the student will have access to natural populations of an emerging bacterial pathogen of wildlife, as well as established lab host-pathogen systems (e.g., bacteria-phage) to gain deeper insights into the processes facilitating host switching and pathogen adaptation to their novel hosts. Entry requirements: Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. This studentship will be funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and is only available to UK and EU nationals. You must have resided in the UK for three years prior to starting the studentship to receive funding for tuition fees and a stipend. If you are an EU national and have not resided in the UK for the three years prior to the start of the studentship you would not be eligible for a stipend, so you would need to have an alternative source of funding for your living costs. Candidates from outside the EU are not eligible for this studentship. For detailed guidance about eligibility please refer to the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Terms and Conditions for Training Grants: TGC 6 Student eligibility . Summary: Application deadline: 26th May 2015 Number of awards: 1 Value: 13,863 plus UK/EU tuition fees for eligible students Duration of award: per year Contact: CLES Postgraduate Research office: +44 (0)1392 725150 +44 (0)1392 725150/723706/723310 cles-studentships@exeter.ac.uk How to apply: Please be aware you will be asked to upload the following documents: * CV * Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project). * Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying) * 2 references from referees familiar with your academic work (if your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to cles-studentships@exeter.ac.uk. If we don’t receive your references, we will not request them unless you have been shortlisted) * If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English (for further details of the University’s English language requirements please see http://bit.ly/1EhcTJU s/research/) The closing date for applications is midnight on 26 May 2015. Interviews will be held on the University of Exeter Penryn Campus the week commencing June 8th. If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email cles-studentships@exeter.ac.uk or phone +44 (0)1392 725150 +44 (0)1392 725150/723706/723310. Project specific queries should be directed to the supervisor. For the full ad and application form go to: http://bit.ly/1QDdwUB “Bonneaud, Camille” via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
23:55

Volunteer field assistant We are looking for a motivated and hardworking individual to assist us with fieldwork on a study of ecoimmunology and sperm-ejaculate interactions in the red-backed fairy-wren near Brisbane (Queensland) Australia during the Austral Spring-Summer. Time period: mid-September to mid-December 2015 (3 months). Duties: catching birds using mist nets, regular monitoring of colour-banded birds during the breeding season to assess breeding stage and monitor nesting activity, assistance with sample collection (e.g. blood, sperm), data entry and proofing, and general assistance with gear and logistics. We will work 6 days a week and workdays will be long and require an early start. Qualifications: Enthusiasm, self-motivation and a strong work ethic are essential. The working language is English, thus good knowledge of English is a requirement. Must be early riser, willing to be physically active during the working period, tolerant to heat, and enjoy basic shared living conditions. Applicants with previous bird experience (e.g. monitoring colour-banded birds, mist netting) are preferred, but highly motivated individuals lacking experience will also be considered. Outdoor experience will also be valued. Finally, a driving license is highly preferential. This is a volunteer position, but accommodation and food will be provided when at the research site. The assistant provides own cost of travelling to/from the site. Applications should contain a cover letter highlighting previous relevant experience, a short CV and the names and contact information for 2-3 referees that are familiar with fieldwork skills. For further enquiries or to submit applications send an e-mail to Diana Carneiro (diana.carneiro@nhm.uio.no). Review of applications will begin 15th May 2015, and continue until the position is filled. Diana Carneiro PhD research fellow Natural History Museum University of Oslo Postboks 1172, Blindern 0318 Oslo Norway Personal page: http://bit.ly/1EhcRlj via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR
23:35

Dear Evoldir members, We are pleased to announce the release of OrthoMaM version 9: a new update of our database of mammalian orthologous single-copy nuclear markers (exons and CDS). It can be browsed and queried at: http://bit.ly/1g1YneA This new version 9 is based on EnsEMBL release v79 (April 2015) and now includes 7,349 exons and 14,526 CDS alignments for up to 43 mammalian species. New features in this realeases includes: - Requests on 43 species (based on EnsEMBL v79, March 2015). - New species: Papio_anubis, Chlorocebus_sabaeus, Ovis_aries. - Exon detection has been improved. - Raw alignements have been computed with MAFFT. - Alignments which contain sequences leading to very high branch lengths in the corresponding ML phylograms were not excluded If you use OrthoMaM for your research please cite: Douzery, E. J., Scornavacca, C., Romiguier, J., Belkhir, K., Galtier, N., Delsuc, F., & Ranwez, V. (2014). OrthoMaM v8: a database of orthologous exons and coding sequences for comparative genomics in mammals. Molecular Biology and Evolution 31:1923-1928. or Ranwez, V., Delsuc, F., Ranwez, S., Belkhir, K., Tilak, M. K., & Douzery, E. J. (2007). OrthoMaM: a database of orthologous genomic markers for placental mammal phylogenetics. BMC Evolutionary Biology 7:241. We hope this will be of use to members of the evolutionary community. Frederic Delsuc and co-authors via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR

April 26, 2015

18:00
Background: Recent studies suggest there is a relationship between intervertebral disc herniation and vertebral shape. The nature of this relationship is unclear, however. Humans are more commonly afflicted with spinal disease than are non-human primates and one suggested explanation for this is the stress placed on the spine by bipedalism. With this in mind, we carried out a study of human, chimpanzee, and orangutan vertebrae to examine the links between vertebral shape, locomotion, and Schmorl’s nodes, which are bony indicators of vertical intervertebral disc herniation. We tested the hypothesis that vertical disc herniation preferentially affects individuals with vertebrae that are towards the ancestral end of the range of shape variation within Homo sapiens and therefore are less well adapted for bipedalism. Results: The study employed geometric morphometric techniques. Two-dimensional landmarks were used to capture the shapes of the superior aspect of the body and posterior elements of the last thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae of chimpanzees, orangutans, and humans with and without Schmorl’s nodes. These data were subjected to multivariate statistical analyses.Canonical Variates Analysis indicated that the last thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae of healthy humans, chimpanzees, and orangutans can be distinguished from each other (p0.4590). The Procrustes distance between pathological humans and chimpanzees was found to be smaller than the one between pathological and healthy humans. This was the case for both vertebrae. Pair-wise MANOVAs of Principal Component scores for both the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae found significant differences between all pairs of taxa (p0.367). Together, these results suggest that human vertebrae with Schmorl’s nodes are closer in shape to chimpanzee vertebrae than are healthy human vertebrae. Conclusions: The results support the hypothesis that intervertebral disc herniation preferentially affects individuals with vertebrae that are towards the ancestral end of the range of shape variation within H. sapiens and therefore are less well adapted for bipedalism. This finding not only has clinical implications but also illustrates the benefits of bringing the tools of evolutionary biology to bear on problems in medicine and public health.
16:30

"Late night" broadcasting on United States network / cable TV starts at about 11:00 or 11:30 pm, and goes for a couple of hours. Many networks broadcast similar shows during this time, which directly compete against each other for the available audience (which is currently estimated to be slightly in excess of 10 million people per night at 11:30 pm). Many of these shows have been on for a long time. Most of them are recorded on several weekday nights in front of a live audience, and they are usually associated with only a very few presenters over time (almost always men!).


For example, since the early 1990s we have had:
NBC Tonight Show



NBC Late Night



CBS Late Show
CBS Late Late Show



ABC Kimmel Live
ABC Nightline

ComedyCentral Daily Show

ComedyCentral Colbert Report
TBS Conan 11:35-12:35



12:35-01:35



11:35-12:35
12:35-01:35



11:35-12:35
12:35-01:05

11:00-11:30

11:30-12:00
11:00-12:00 Jay Leno 1992-2009
Conan O'Brien 2009-2010
Jay Leno 2010-2014
Jimmy Fallon 2014-
David Letterman 1982-1993
Conan O'Brien 1993-2009
Jimmy Fallon 2009-2014
Seth Meyers 2014-
David Letterman 1993-2015
Tom Snyder 1995-1999
Craig Kilborn 1999-2004
Craig Ferguson 2005-2014
James Corden 2015-
Jimmy Kimmel 2003-
Ted Koppel 1980-2005
Three-anchor team 2005-
Craig Kilborn 1996-1998
Jon Stewart 1999-
Stephen Colbert 2005-2014
Conan O'Brien 2010-
Eventually, the presenters retire or move elsewhere, and the other presenters then move around among the shows. This has lead to the so-called "Late night wars", in which the NBC studio executives in charge repeatedly show that their personnel management skills are often lacking. For example, David Letterman was expected to replace Johnny Carson when he retired as the host of the NBC Tonight Show in 1992, but the job was given to Jay Leno, instead. So, Letterman moved to a directly competing show on CBS. When Leno subsequently moved to another show, Conan O'Brien took over. However, Leno then moved back again, and so O'Brien moved to a directly competing show on TBS. The media interest in these shenanigans exceeded their interest in the shows themselves.

Another substantial decision was that by ABC, at the end of 2012, to swap the timelsots of Nightline (which used to run 11:35-12:00) and Kimmel Live (which ran 12:00-13:00). This had a notable effect on the audience numbers, because Nightline was one of the top two shows in its original timeslot whereas Kimmel Live currently gets about 1 million viewers fewer per night in that same slot. On the other hand Nightline in its new timelsot gets about the same audience as Kimmel Live did when it occupied the slot. That seems to be a net loss of audience for ABC.

The Nielsen Media Research viewing data are available online at the TV by the Numbers site. They provide the weekly averages for each show in millions of viewers, based on what is known as "live plus same day" viewing (ie. the audience at the time of broadcast plus same-day viewing of video recordings). The data I have looked at run from early December 2011 to the end of December 2014 (161 weeks). Unfortunately, these data rely on NBC press releases (rather than direct access to Nielsen), so there are some missing data.

The comparison of these shows can be visualized using a phylogenetic network, as a tool for exploratory data analysis. To create the network, I first calculated the similarity of the nine shows using the manhattan distance; and a Neighbor-net analysis was then used to display the between-show similarities as a phylogenetic network. So, shows that are closely connected in the network are similar to each other based on their audience figures across the three years, and those that are further apart are progressively more different from each other.


The network shows a gradient of increasing audience size, from bottom-left to top-right. So, the Tonight Show consistently got a average nightly audience of c. 3.5 million people, while Conan had c. 0.8 million. The two CBS shows both consistently did somewhat worse than their NBC timeslot competitors.

The two ABC shows apparently did well, but this is confounded by the timeslot swap noted above. Nightline did well for the first year (before it was moved) but not for the second two years, while Kimmel Live did the opposite. This is what creates the big reticulation in the middle of the network, as all of the other shows had fairly consistent audiences throughout the three years.

However, there was a steady decrease in the total audience size across the three years, from c. 12 million per night (at 11:30 pm) at the end of 2011 to c. 10 million at the end of 2014. The only major exception to this was at the time when Jimmy Fallon took over from Jay Leno (early 2014). For several weeks the Tonight Show audience increased to >8 million per night, so that the total audience was c. 15.5 million (a 50% increase). This shows just how many people are available to be added to the late-night viewing, compared to how many watch regularly. So, why are they not watching in the other weeks? It seems that Late Night Television is not reaching its full potential.

06:00
Background: Mating between close relatives often leads to a reduction of an individual’s fitness, due to an increased expression of deleterious alleles. Thus, in many animal taxa pre- as well as postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms have evolved. An increased risk of inbreeding and hence a loss of genetic variation may occur during founder events as in most cases only few individuals establish a new population. The threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) is a small externally fertilizing fish species subject to strong sperm competition. Sticklebacks inhabit both marine and freshwater environments and anadromous populations have repeatedly established new genetically less diverse freshwater populations. Previous studies showed that anadromous sticklebacks strongly suffer from inbreeding depression and when given the choice females prefer to mate with unrelated males. Results: The present study aimed to address whether there exists a postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanism solely based on sperm-egg interactions in sperm competition experiments. We used F1 individuals that originated either from a large, genetically heterogeneous anadromous population or from a small, genetically less diverse freshwater population. For each population, eggs of two different females were in vitro fertilized by the same two males’ sperm in a paired study design. In the main experiment one male was the female’s full-sib brother and in the control experiment all individuals were unrelated. The results revealed that fertilization success was independent of relatedness in both populations suggesting a general lack of a postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanism. Instead, male quality (i.e. sperm morphology) predicted paternity success during competitive fertilization trials. Conclusion: In sticklebacks, there is no evidence for postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance. Sperm morphology predicted paternity instead, thus sperm quality traits are under strong sexual selection, presumably driven by the high risk of sperm competition under natural conditions.

April 25, 2015

01:09

Six (6) permanent positions providing advanced bioinformatics support, located at SciLifeLab Bioinformatics Platform nodes across Sweden. The SciLifeLab bioinformatics platform (http://bit.ly/1mGwtUf) is a national infrastructure in rapid growth and development, now looking for 6 permanent staff members to join the Bioinformatics Long-term Support team (a.k.a WABI), placed at bioinformatics nodes in Ume, Linkping, Gteborg, and Lund. The advertised staff will be fully integrated in the national Bioinformatics Long-term support team, and will aid the build-up of the national platform by establishing local platform nodes. To be considered for these positions * you now need to submit a formal application to the respective university, following the below links * you will have to apply to each position individually if you are open to work in any of the cities below. Please follow the links for more information and application forms: Lund: http://bit.ly/1PyRcdg Gteborg http://bit.ly/1OnlRgv Ume http://bit.ly/1OnlS3W Linkping http://bit.ly/1OnlRgz We are looking forward to receive your applications at the latest May 7, 2015 (a week later for Linkping). You are always welcome to contact both the local contact person or the Bioinformatics Long-term Support managers regarding these positions. Bjrn Nystedt, bjorn.nystedt@scilifelab.se, +46 (0)73-402 62 31 Thomas Svensson, thomas.svensson@scilifelab.se, +46 (0)73-625 14 88 Managers, SciLifeLab Bioinformatics Long-term Support http://bit.ly/1mGwtUf Bjorn Nystedt, PhD Manager, SciLifeLab Bioinformatics Long-term Support (WABI) http://bit.ly/1PyRcdj BMC E10:3206, entrance C11 Husargatan 3, SE-752 37 Uppsala Phone: 018 - 471 4413 E-mail: bjorn.nystedt@scilifelab.se bjorn.nystedt@scilifelab.se via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR
01:09

PHD STUDENT POSITION in INSECT METAGENOMICS The position forms part of a group of 15 PhD students now being recruited to the EU-funded Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network BIG4. The core of BIG4 is interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research on the diversity and evolution of the four largest insect orders: Hymenoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera (Biosystematics, Informatics and Genomics of the 4 big insect groups). The program offers unique opportunities in terms of preparing students for an academic or a business career. The training will include secondment to other European labs in the network, and to small companies in the biotechnology and IT sector. The program also includes network-wide training events, and seeks to build student skills in creativity and innovation. The position is one of three PhD student positions that will be formally associated with the Department of Zoology at Stockholm University, which will award the PhD degrees. The position will be hosted by the Ronquist lab at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, which is one of the world leaders in the development of software for computational phylogenomics using Bayesian statistical methods. The lab also has a strong research tradition in insect systematics and evolutionary biology. The successful candidate for this position will develop new methods for analyzing environmental samples using massively parallel sequencing. In particular, we will be focusing on methods allowing broad qualitative and quantitative taxonomic analysis of the insect fauna found in Malaise trap samples and soil samples. We will then use these methods to study the composition and spatial structure of insect faunas. We are looking for candidates with a broad background, preferably including studies or training in entomology, genomics, bioinformatics, and programming. We expect that you will be creative and independent while being a good team player. Fluency in spoken and written English is essential. We will pay particular attention to scientific and creative talent and potential. To be eligible for the position, you need to fill the formal requirements to start a PhD program in biology, broadly construed, and have less than 4 years of research experience counted as time of employment in research since receiving the degree for enrollment in a PhD. You cannot have resided or carried out your main activity (work or study) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 3-year period immediately prior to the recruitment under the project. Starting date is August 15, 2015. The position is for four years. The Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM) is one of the leading institutions of its kind in Europe. It combines a venerable tradition and unique collections with cutting-edge research in geology, paleontology and biology. The museum is close to Stockholm University, the Royal School of Engineering (KTH) and the Karolinska Institute. The Stockholm Phylogenomics Group (http://bit.ly/19BItn2) engages research groups from all of these institutions. The Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics at NRM is focused on research in computational phylogenetics, population genetics and genomics. It also runs a DNA sequencing facility and hosts several national and international infrastructures. The application should consist of a personal letter, a statement describing research interests and career goals (max 3 pages), a CV, and a transcript of your MSc diploma or equivalent. The application should be marked with dnr 2.3.1-182-2015 and sent to rekrytering@nrm.se. Applications should be received no later than May 29, 2015. Fredrik Ronquist Professor, Dept. Bioinformatics and Genetics Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm email: fredrik.ronquist@nrm.se Fredrik.Ronquist@nrm.se via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR
01:09
We are now looking to appoint a postdoc to work on Sorbus genetics, focusing on S. porrigentiformis, using next generation sequencing methods. This two-year job is now live on Kew.org and Kewnet. Please share the following link on EvolDir. http://bit.ly/1PyRcdc Dr Michael F. Fay FLS Head of Genetics Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Richmond Surrey TW9 3AB UK Chief Editor, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society Tel (44) (0) 20 8332 5315 Fax (44) (0) 20 8332 5310 Mike Fay via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
01:09
We invite all members of the choanoflagellate research community to participate in the 2015 International Choanoflagellate Workshop. The goal of this meeting will be to build the choanoflagellate research community by fostering collaborations and providing a forum for presenting research on choanoflagellate biology. Past meetings have featured research on topics as diverse as evolution, microbial ecology, fluid dynamics, host-microbe interactions, cell biology, comparative genomics, biomineralization, and more! The workshop will be held at the Station Biologique Roscoff beginning the evening of Tuesday, June 16 and finishing late afternoon on Friday, June 19. Roscoff is accessible either by a short taxi ride from the Brest airport or by train from the CDG airport. *At this time, we invite you to register for the meeting by May 1, 2015 at this link*: http://goo.gl/forms/QmLYlbSBgD All attendees are encouraged to either present a talk or a poster. When registering, please provide a title and abstract, and indicate your preferred presentation type. Speakers will be selected based on talk titles and a goal of highlighting the full breadth of research ongoing in the community. If you have any questions about the meeting, please don’t hesitate to contact us at choanoflagellate@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you! *Nicole King* Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development Department of Molecular and Cell Biology University of California, Berkeley kinglab.berkeley.edu http://bit.ly/1PyRbWM Lab Manager: Heather Middleton (middletonhl@berkeley.edu) Administrative Assistant: Rosa Lewandowski (rlewando@berkeley.edu) nicoleking.ucb@gmail.com via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
00:22
GRADUATE POSITION A PhD scholarship on invasion ecology is available in the Rollins lab in the Centre for Integrative Ecology at Deakin University. Project: Although invasive species are a massive threat to biodiversity, and costly to society, we still do not understand the evolutionary processes that shape invasions. Invasive populations often show rapid evolutionary change in novel environments but attempts to identify the underlying genetic basis of these changes have been largely unsuccessful. This PhD is part of a larger project exploring an innovative and untested alternative possibility: that invader evolution is primarily driven by epigenetic change. Using an iconic Australian invasive species, the cane toad, we will conduct a multi-generational experiment to manipulate DNA methylation levels and quantify the effects on phenotypic traits important to invasion and which have been shown to change across the introduced range in Australia, including traits related to dispersal ability, immune function and personality. We will also be investigating the plasticity of these traits and determining whether this relates to changes in epigenetic state. The larger project is well-resourced and multi-disciplinary, combining the efforts of molecular ecologists at Deakin University with invasion ecologists (Professor Rick Shine and his team) from the University of Sydney. Selection criteria: This PhD project will be primarily based at our collaborator?s field station in the Northern Territory but will also include time at the Deakin University Geelong campus. We seek an ecologist with an interest in epigenetic inheritance who will work closely with team members who are conducting genetic/epigenetic analyses. There will be flexibility to tailor the PhD project to your specific interests if they are aligned with our research direction. We seek someone who is hard-working and enthusiastic about invasion ecology and herpetology. The ideal candidate will have some field experience, a demonstrated ability to work independently and well-developed organisational skills. Preference will be given to applicants with at least one first-authored publication. Scholarship/application details: The successful candidate will be awarded a PhD stipend of AUD$25,392 per annum (tax-free) over three years. Applicants should send an email to Dr. Lee Ann Rollins (lee.rollins@deakin.edu.au) including: 1) a CV; 2) academic record (subjects and marks); 3) a one-page summary of your research interests and career goals; and 4) details of 3 referees (including any previous research supervisors). Closing date for applications is 22nd May. Dr. Lee Ann Rollins Research Fellow School of Life and Environmental Sciences Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment Deakin University, Pigdons Road, Geelong VIC 3217 +61 3 5227 2084 lee.rollins@deakin.edu.au www.deakin.edu.au Deakin University CRICOS Provider Code 00113B Lee Rollins via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
00:06

PHD STUDENT POSITION in INSECT PHYLOGENOMICS The position forms part of a group of 15 PhD students now being recruited to the EU-funded Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network BIG4. The core of BIG4 is interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research on the diversity and evolution of the four largest insect orders: Hymenoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera (Biosystematics, Informatics and Genomics of the 4 big insect groups). The program offers unique opportunities in terms of preparing students for an academic or a business career. The training will include secondment to other European labs in the network, and to small companies in the biotechnology and IT sector. The program also includes network-wide training events, and seeks to build student skills in creativity and innovation. The position is one of three PhD student positions that will be formally associated with the Department of Zoology at Stockholm University, which will award the PhD degrees. The position will be hosted by the Ronquist lab at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, which is one of the world leaders in the development of software for computational phylogenomics using Bayesian statistical methods. The lab also has a strong research tradition in insect systematics and evolutionary biology. The successful candidate for this position will be using genomic approaches to analyze phylogenetic relationships among gall wasps, which have proved hard to resolve using traditional methods. The genomic data will then form the basis for identification and functional analysis of genes involved in the transitions between parasitoids, gall inducers and inquilines in this group of insects. We are looking for candidates with a broad background, preferably including studies or training in entomology, genomics, bioinformatics, and programming. We expect that you will be creative and independent while being a good team player. Fluency in spoken and written English is essential. We will pay particular attention to scientific and creative talent and potential. To be eligible for the position, you need to fill the formal requirements to start a PhD program in biology, broadly construed, and have less than 4 years of research experience counted as time of employment in research since receiving the degree for enrollment in a PhD. You cannot have resided or carried out your main activity (work or study) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 3-year period immediately prior to the recruitment under the project. Starting date is August 15, 2015. The position is for four years. The Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM) is one of the leading institutions of its kind in Europe. It combines a venerable tradition and unique collections with cutting-edge research in geology, paleontology and biology. The museum is close to Stockholm University, the Royal School of Engineering (KTH) and the Karolinska Institute. The Stockholm Phylogenomics Group (http://bit.ly/19BItn2) engages research groups from all of these institutions. The Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics at NRM is focused on research in computational phylogenetics, population genetics and genomics. We run a DNA sequencing facility and host several national and international infrastructures. The application should consist of a personal letter, a statement describing research interests and career goals (max 3 pages), a CV, and a transcript of your MSc diploma or equivalent. The application should be marked with dnr 2.3.1-182-2015 and sent to rekrytering@nrm.se. Applications should be received no later than May 29, 2015. Fredrik Ronquist Professor, Dept. Bioinformatics and Genetics Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm email: fredrik.ronquist@nrm.se Fredrik.Ronquist@nrm.se via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR

April 24, 2015

23:34
PHD STUDENT POSITION in INSECT TAXONOMY / BIODIVERSITY INFORMATICS The position forms part of a group of 15 PhD students now being recruited to the EU-funded Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network BIG4. The core of BIG4 is interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research on the diversity and evolution of the four largest insect orders: Hymenoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera (‘Biosystematics, Informatics and Genomics of the 4 big insect groups). The program offers unique opportunities in terms of preparing students for an academic or a business career. The training will include secondment to other European labs in the network, and to small companies in the biotechnology and IT sector. The program also includes network-wide training events, and seeks to build student skills in creativity and innovation. The position is one of three PhD student positions that will be formally associated with the Department of Zoology at Stockholm University, which will award the PhD degrees. The position will be hosted by Savantic AB (http://bit.ly/1Gtkuss), a consultant company specializing in bridging the gap between the research and business worlds. All consultants have a doctoral degree in physics. Specialty areas include image analysis, medical technology and environmental technology. The academic training will be provided by the Ronquist lab at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, which is one of the world leaders in the development of software for computational phylogenomics using Bayesian statistical methods. The lab also has a strong research tradition in insect systematics and evolutionary biology. The successful candidate for this position will focus on the use of citizen science in accelerating research and discovery in insect systematics. For a suitable group of poorly known insects, we will develop visual identification aids based on advanced image analysis. The aim is to generate interest among citizen scientists in contributing to the systematic research on the chosen group, using a commercially viable app. We are looking for candidates with a broad background, preferably including studies or training in entomology, genomics, bioinformatics, and programming. We expect that you will be creative and independent while being a good team player. Fluency in spoken and written English is essential. We will pay particular attention to scientific and creative talent and potential. To be eligible for the position, you need to fill the formal requirements to start a PhD program in biology, broadly construed, and have less than 4 years of research experience counted as time of employment in research since receiving the degree for enrollment in a PhD. You cannot have resided or carried out your main activity (work or study) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 3-year period immediately prior to the recruitment under the project. Starting date is August 15, 2015. The position is for four years. The Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM) is one of the leading institutions of its kind in Europe. It combines a venerable tradition and unique collections with cutting-edge research in geology, paleontology and biology. The museum is close to Stockholm University, the Royal School of Engineering (KTH) and the Karolinska Institute. The Stockholm Phylogenomics Group (http://bit.ly/19BItn2) engages research groups from all of these institutions. The Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics at NRM is focused on research in computational phylogenetics, population genetics and genomics. We run a DNA sequencing facility and host several national and international infrastructures. The application should consist of a personal letter, a statement describing research interests and career goals (max 3 pages), a CV, and a transcript of your MSc diploma or equivalent. The application should be sent to Karin Carlsson at Savantic AB (karin@savanticab.com). Applications should be received no later than May 29, 2015. Fredrik Ronquist Professor, Dept. Bioinformatics and Genetics Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm email: fredrik.ronquist@nrm.se Karin Carlsson Savantic AB email: karin@savanticab.com Fredrik.Ronquist@nrm.se via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR