Nels and Vincent discuss how duplication of a gene encoding a transcription factor led to evolution of a novel cell type in the slime mold Dictyostelium.
Louise Moncla joins Nels and Vincent to review her use of genomics to understand emergence, evolution, and transmission of respiratory viruses including influenza virus H5N1, mumps virus, and SARS-CoV-2.
Nels and Vincent discuss an analysis of the drivers of evolution of SARS-CoV-2 during chronic infections, indicating that a tradeoff exists between antibody evasion and fitness.
Nels and Vincent provide an update on cases of monkeypox, and summarize a biochemical view of three changes in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that may balance positive and negative selection.
Alex joins Nels and Vincent to discuss his work which demonstrates that somatic mutation rates scale with lifespan in mammals.
Nels and Vincent describe how a single amino acid change can allow E. coli to replace the essential gut symbiont of the stinkbug Plautia stali.
Joe Graves joins Nels and Vincent to discuss his career in evolutionary biology and his recent book that answers questions about race and racism.
Nels and Vincent review three aspects of SARS-CoV-2: phylogenetics of Omicron, a two-step fitness selection for SARS-CoV-2 variants, and putative RNA insertions from host genomes.
Nels and Vincent discuss evolutionary evidence for an epidemic of coronavirus infection over 20,000 years ago in East Asia, and reconstruction of the membrane differences between bacteria and Archaea reveals unexpected differences in permeability.
Nels and Vincent explain a method to calculate the mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2, and the role of a single amino acid change in spike in enhancing fitness of the delta variant and enabling it to out-compete the alpha variant.