Persistent polymorphisms, enhancing mutation, new fossils, cooperation & conservation
All five of my Darwinian Agriculture lectures at the International Rice Research Institute are now available on YouTube.
Here are some interesting papers published this week.
Multiple Instances of Ancient Balancing Selection Shared Between Humans and Chimpanzees " In addition to the major histocompatibility complex, we identified 125 regions in which the same haplotypes are segregating in the two species [neither version has displaced the other in either species in 6 million years], all but two of which are noncoding [i.e., they probably control other genes rather than coding for a protein]." The most likely explanation for such prolonged co-existence is that individuals with less-common alleles may be resistant to pathogens that have evolved to attack those with more-common alleles.
Accelerated gene evolution through replication-transcription conflicts" "We propose that bacteria, and potentially other organisms, promote faster evolution of specific genes through orientation-dependent encounters between DNA replication and transcription."