Congratulations to Aaron Ragsdale on defending his Ph.D. thesis! Aaron will be starting a postdoc in the group of Simon Gravel in March 2017.
Congratulations to Brian Mannakee on his paper that just came out in PLoS Genetics. In it, we use dynamical systems biology models to predict rates of protein domain evolution. The success of these predictions suggests that natural selection is acting to preserve network dynamics in the face of perturbations from mutations. Although the models are imperfect, we think this work shows the power of systems biology models for quantitatively predicting evolutionary processes.
Congratulations to Aaron Ragsdale on his paper that was just accepted for publication in Genetics. In it, we develop a novel diffusion model for trialleic sites, which required some non-trivial applied mathematics. We then apply the model to mutually nonsynonymous codons in Drosophila, to infer the correlation between selection coefficients for mutations at the same protein site. Remarkably, our inferred correlation agrees quantitatively with direct biochemical experiments in bacteria and yeast, suggesting that the correlation we measure is a fundamental property of protein evolution.
Ryan had a wonderful time teaching at the 2016 Workshop on Population and Speciation Genomics in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic. Ryan lectured about demographic inference and ran tutorials on Python programming and using ∂a∂i. The slides and exercises he developed are available here.