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In the Light of Evolution

New Content ItemGuest Editors: Brian Charlesworth, Jonathan Howard, Laurence Hurst, Philip Ingham, Alexander Johnson, Marc Kirschner, Eugene Koonin, Sean Munro.

In his 1973 essay, Theodosius Dobzhansky argues that a meaningful picture can be drawn from “a pile of sundry facts” in biology only by looking at them in “the light of evolution”. In a post-genomics era of large-scale data, technological advances and integrative approaches have the potential to expand the range of this perspective. 
In this cross journal series, BMC Biology, BMC Evolutionary Biology and Biology Direct  bring together a collection of articles exploring how evolutionary principles applied across the spectrum of biology can shed light on a diverse range of topics from molecules to ecosystems, and with a particular emphasis on human genetics, interactions with the environment, and health and disease. Selected research articles will be included in addition to invited reviews and comment. 

We will consider Research manuscripts of exceptional interest on the following topics:
•    Evolution of morphological change 
•    Understanding and treating disease in the light of evolution
•    Origins of evolutionary complexity
•    Human evolutionary biology in a post-genomic era
•    Anthropogenic effects on evolution
•    Evolutionary insights into genome variation, and vice versa
•    Host-parasite interactions
•    Evolutionary lessons from large-scale genomics
•    Insights from ancient DNA on human origins
•    Molecular mechanisms of evolution
•    Applied microbial evolution 
•    Evolutionary ecology
•    Genomics and the evolution of development

Papers in our Registered Reports format will also be welcomed.

Submit your manuscript here

Please use the online submission system, and indicate in your covering letter that you would like the manuscript to be considered for the “In the Light of Evolution” series.

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  1. Content type: Research article

    The evolutionary roots of human moral behavior are a key precondition to understanding human nature. Investigations usually start with a social dilemma and end up with a norm that can provide some insight into...

    Authors: J. Garay, S. Számadó, Z. Varga and E. Szathmáry

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:53

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  2. Content type: Research article

    Tunicates are the closest relatives of vertebrates and are widely used as models to study the evolutionary developmental biology of chordates. Their phylogeny, however, remains poorly understood, and to date, ...

    Authors: Frédéric Delsuc, Hervé Philippe, Georgia Tsagkogeorga, Paul Simion, Marie-Ka Tilak, Xavier Turon, Susanna López-Legentil, Jacques Piette, Patrick Lemaire and Emmanuel J. P. Douzery

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:39

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  3. Content type: Research article

    Much of the structure-based mechanistic understandings of the function of SLC6A neurotransmitter transporters emerged from the study of their bacterial LeuT-fold homologs. It has become evident, however, that ...

    Authors: Asghar M. Razavi, George Khelashvili and Harel Weinstein

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:31

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  4. Content type: Research article

    Eukaryotes evolved from the symbiotic association of at least two prokaryotic partners, and a good deal is known about the timings, mechanisms, and dynamics of these evolutionary steps. Recently, it was shown ...

    Authors: Raphaël Méheust, Debashish Bhattacharya, Jananan S. Pathmanathan, James O. McInerney, Philippe Lopez and Eric Bapteste

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:30

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  5. Content type: Research article

    The Golgi apparatus is a central meeting point for the endocytic and exocytic systems in eukaryotic cells, and the organelle’s dysfunction results in human disease. Its characteristic morphology of multiple di...

    Authors: Lael D. Barlow, Eva Nývltová, Maria Aguilar, Jan Tachezy and Joel B. Dacks

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:27

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    The Correction to this article has been published in BMC Biology 2018 16:35

  6. Content type: Research article

    Associations between traits are prevalent in nature, occurring across a diverse range of taxa and traits. Individual traits may co-evolve with one other, and these correlations can be driven by factors intrins...

    Authors: Dana A. Opulente, Emily J. Rollinson, Cleome Bernick-Roehr, Amanda Beth Hulfachor, Antonis Rokas, Cletus P. Kurtzman and Chris Todd Hittinger

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:26

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  7. Content type: Review

    Paraphrasing Dobzhansky’s famous dictum, I discuss how interrogating cancer through the lens of evolution has transformed our understanding of its development, causality and treatment resistance. The emerging ...

    Authors: Mel Greaves

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:22

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  8. Content type: Research article

    Sex determination relies on a hierarchically structured network of genes, and is one of the most plastic processes in evolution. The evolution of sex-determining genes within a network, by neo- or sub-function...

    Authors: Manfred Schartl, Susanne Schories, Yuko Wakamatsu, Yusuke Nagao, Hisashi Hashimoto, Chloé Bertin, Brigitte Mourot, Cornelia Schmidt, Dagmar Wilhelm, Lazaro Centanin, Yann Guiguen and Amaury Herpin

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:16

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  9. Content type: Research article

    Polyploidization is one of the major evolutionary processes that shape eukaryotic genomes, being particularly common in plants. Polyploids can arise through direct genome doubling within a species (autopolyplo...

    Authors: Irene Julca, Marina Marcet-Houben, Pablo Vargas and Toni Gabaldón

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:15

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  10. Content type: Research article

    Antennae are multi-segmented appendages and main odor-sensing organs in insects. In Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), antennal morphologies have diversified according to their ecological requirements. While...

    Authors: Toshiya Ando, Haruhiko Fujiwara and Tetsuya Kojima

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2018 18:8

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  11. Content type: Review

    The trillions of microbes living in the gut—the gut microbiota—play an important role in human biology and disease. While much has been done to explore its diversity, a full understanding of our microbiomes de...

    Authors: Emily R. Davenport, Jon G. Sanders, Se Jin Song, Katherine R. Amato, Andrew G. Clark and Rob Knight

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:127

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  12. Content type: Review

    Population geneticists have long sought to understand the contribution of natural selection to molecular evolution. A variety of approaches have been proposed that use population genetics theory to quantify th...

    Authors: Tom R. Booker, Benjamin C. Jackson and Peter D. Keightley

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:98

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  13. Content type: Research article

    Mitochondria are predominantly inherited from the maternal gamete, even in unicellular organisms. Yet an extraordinary array of mechanisms enforce uniparental inheritance, which implies shifting selection pres...

    Authors: Arunas L. Radzvilavicius, Nick Lane and Andrew Pomiankowski

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:94

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  14. Content type: Review

    What made us human? Gene expression changes clearly played a significant part in human evolution, but pinpointing the causal regulatory mutations is hard. Comparative genomics enabled the identification of hum...

    Authors: Lucía F. Franchini and Katherine S. Pollard

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:89

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  15. Content type: Review

    Antibiotic natural products are ancient and so is resistance. Consequently, environmental bacteria harbor numerous and varied antibiotic resistance elements. Nevertheless, despite long histories of antibiotic ...

    Authors: Nicholas Waglechner and Gerard D. Wright

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:84

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  16. Content type: Question and Answer

    In this question and answer article we discuss how evolution shapes morphology (the shape and pattern of our bodies) but also how learning about morphology, and specifically how that morphology arises during d...

    Authors: Neal Anthwal and Abigail S. Tucker

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:83

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  17. Content type: Review

    For a subset of genes in our genome a change in gene dosage, by duplication or deletion, causes a phenotypic effect. These dosage-sensitive genes may confer an advantage upon copy number change, but more typic...

    Authors: Alan M. Rice and Aoife McLysaght

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:78

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  18. Content type: Question and Answer

    Genomic evidence has demonstrated that humans and Neanderthals interbred. Today, the genomes of most individuals outside Africa contain 2–3% Neanderthal DNA. However, it is still hotly debated why the Neandert...

    Authors: Kelley Harris and Rasmus Nielsen

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:73

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