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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.

  1. Question and Answer

    Q&A: What are pathogens, and what have they done to and for us?

    Microbes are found on us, within us and around us. They inhabit virtually every environment on the planet and the bacteria carried by an average human, mostly in their gut, outnumber human cells. The vast majo...

    Francois Balloux and Lucy van Dorp

    BMC Biology 2017 15:91

    Published on: 19 October 2017

  2. Review

    Human evolution: the non-coding revolution

    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...

    Lucía F. Franchini and Katherine S. Pollard

    BMC Biology 2017 15:89

    Published on: 2 October 2017

  3. Review

    Antibiotic resistance: it’s bad, but why isn’t it worse?

    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 ...

    Nicholas Waglechner and Gerard D. Wright

    BMC Biology 2017 15:84

    Published on: 15 September 2017

  4. Question and Answer

    Q&A: Morphological insights into evolution

    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...

    Neal Anthwal and Abigail S. Tucker

    BMC Biology 2017 15:83

    Published on: 15 September 2017

  5. Review

    Dosage-sensitive genes in evolution and disease

    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...

    Alan M. Rice and Aoife McLysaght

    BMC Biology 2017 15:78

    Published on: 1 September 2017

  6. Question and Answer

    Q&A: Where did the Neanderthals go?

    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...

    Kelley Harris and Rasmus Nielsen

    BMC Biology 2017 15:73

    Published on: 1 September 2017

  7. Research article

    The house spider genome reveals an ancient whole-genome duplication during arachnid evolution

    The duplication of genes can occur through various mechanisms and is thought to make a major contribution to the evolutionary diversification of organisms. There is increasing evidence for a large-scale duplic...

    Evelyn E. Schwager, Prashant P. Sharma, Thomas Clarke, Daniel J. Leite, Torsten Wierschin, Matthias Pechmann, Yasuko Akiyama-Oda, Lauren Esposito, Jesper Bechsgaard, Trine Bilde, Alexandra D. Buffry, Hsu Chao, Huyen Dinh, HarshaVardhan Doddapaneni, Shannon Dugan, Cornelius Eibner…

    BMC Biology 2017 15:62

    Published on: 31 July 2017

  8. Forum

    Non-model model organisms

    Model organisms are widely used in research as accessible and convenient systems to study a particular area or question in biology. Traditionally only a handful of organisms have been widely studied, but moder...

    James J. Russell, Julie A. Theriot, Pranidhi Sood, Wallace F. Marshall, Laura F. Landweber, Lillian Fritz-Laylin, Jessica K. Polka, Snezhana Oliferenko, Therese Gerbich, Amy Gladfelter, James Umen, Magdalena Bezanilla, Madeline A. Lancaster, Shuonan He, Matthew C. Gibson, Bob Goldstein…

    BMC Biology 2017 15:55

    Published on: 29 June 2017

  9. Comment

    Can a biologist fix a smartphone?—Just hack it!

    Biological systems integrate multiscale processes and networks and are, therefore, viewed as difficult to dissect. However, because of the clear-cut separation between the software code (the information encode...

    Sophien Kamoun

    BMC Biology 2017 15:37

    Published on: 8 May 2017