Nels and Vincent wrap up 2020 with a discussion of novel variants of SARS-CoV-2 that have emerged in the United Kingdom and South Africa, how to interpret the rapidly emerging genome sequence data and what to look for in the coming weeks as these variants spread across the globe.

Daniel joins Nels and Vincent to discuss his new book on army ants, the wickedest insects ever to roam the planet, and his research on them and clonal raider ants.

Nels and Vincent answer listener questions and discuss a newly discovered virus of amoeba with a nearly complete ORFan genome: none of the proteins encoded in the viral genome look like any other proteins.

Nels and Vincent continue their discussion of SARS-CoV-2 evolution, with a report that the coronavirus proofreading enzyme stimulates RNA recombination, and debunking the conclusion that a change in the viral spike glycoprotein is associated with increased human to human transmission.

Nels and Vincent continue their discussion of SARS-CoV-2 from an evolutionary viewpoint, including function of the furin cleavage site, whether Vervet cells are an informative system, another bat isolate, and a nomenclature to assist genomic epidemiology.

Nels and Vincent dive deep into evolution and consider how new proteins emerged billions of years ago, when there were no other proteins to serve as starting material.

Nels and Vincent trace the origins of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains used to make beer, and find that ales and lagers are made with yeasts that were derived from those used to make European grape wine and Asian rice wine.

Nels and Vincent analyze the genomes of canine transmissible tumors to provide insight into the worldwide spread of the disease from its origin in a single dog 4000-8500 years ago, and its diversity, mutation, and evolution.

At ASM Microbe in San Francisco, Nels and Vincent meet up with Talia Karasov who reveals that in contrast to agriculture, wild plants are colonized by multiple lineages of pathogenic bacteria.

At ASM Microbe in San Francisco, Nels and Vincent meet up with Paul Turner to talk about evolutionary considerations in using bacteriophages to treat infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Nels and Vincent explore the evolution of new protein-coding genes de novo from nocoding DNA sequences, using the antifreeze protein of northern codfish as a model.

Nels and Vincent move back to reproductive isolation – this time, pre-zygotic, in the charismatic orchid bee where the males make chemically distinct perfumes to attract mates of the same species.

Nels and Vincent look at the intracellular bacteria Legionella from an evolutionary perspective: the role of gene acquisition and reshuffling from plants, animals, fungi, and archaea in the emergence of human pathogens.

Nels and Vincent reveal a highly conserved protein that acts as an evolvability factor, increasing mutation and the ability of bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.

David Quammen joins Nels and Vincent to talk about his new book, A Tangled Tree, including evolutionary trees, Carl Woese, Lynn Margulis, horizontal gene transfer, and much more.

Nels and Vincent are astounded by the finding of an insect-derived virus in a fungus that manipulates the behavior of flies.

Matt joins Nels and Vincent to discuss the neutral theory of evolution and its rejection in light of genome-scale data.

Nels and Vincent reveal how a motor protein in corn causes preferential transmission of chromosomes to egg cells, leading to non-Mendelian inheritance

Nels and Vincent discuss the evolution of blood feeding to nonbiting in a mosquito, and evolution of bacterial virulence in the house finch caused by incomplete host immunity.

Taking a cue from the recent frigid weather, Nels and Vincent explore how modifications of a neuronal cold-sensing channel regulate diminished cold sensitivity in hibernating mammals.

Vinny Lynch joins Nels and Vincent to discuss how a zombie gene in elephants protects these large, long lived animals from cancer.

Nels and Vincent discuss a genomic analysis of the passenger pigeon, which shows that species with large and stable populations may be at risk of extinction after a sudden environmental change.

Maitreya Dunham joins Nels and Vincent to explain how her laboratory uses experimental evolution to study yeast flocculation, the community-building cell aggregation trait.

Rich Condit joins Nels and Vincent to explain how a vaccinia virus protein customizes ribosomes to favor the translation of viral mRNAs with a stretch of A residues in the 5′-untranslated region.

Jonathan Weiner, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Beak of the Finch, joins Nels and Vincent to talk about his career and his writing.

Buck and Sean join Vincent in New York, while Sylvia is with Nels in Salt Lake City to discuss the first mutant ant ever made: disruption of orco, a gene required for function of odorant receptors, causes defects in social behavior and fitness.

From the Microbial Pathogenesis Retreat of the University of Utah School of Medicine, held at the Utah Museum of Natural History, Nels and Vincent speak with faculty members about their work on bacteria, fungi, viruses, and mirror-image biochemistry.

Corrie Moreau joins Nels and Vincent to talk about her comparative analysis of the genomes of mutualist ants that nest in plants, and non-symbiotic species.

Josh joins Nels and Vincent to talk about his research on the evolution and conservation of aquatic tropical biodiversity, and the historical ecology of 19th century American Whalers.

Nels and Vincent speak with Jim Bull about the results of genetic models which suggest that the evolution of inbreeding in response to lethal gene drive might make population control difficult to achieve.

Mike joins Nels and Vincent to talk about his work on what controls whether pigeons have scaly or feathered feet, and reveals that the hindlimbs of domestic birds with feathery feet are more like wings at the molecular level.

Nels and Vincent continue with an emerging sub-theme of TWiEVO – organisms with wings – as they reveal enhancer shuffling as a mechanism for producing diverse butterfly wing patterns.

Nels and Vincent launch a new podcast on evolution, and start by discussing how the field has changed through recent mergers of evolutionary and experimental biology in the post-genome era.