This week's Science has an interesting paper tracking 1930 genotypes from Pneumococcus. (That's a lot of work, by the way.) The authors Hanage et al. surveyed six genes and found that there was a good deal of recombination between the species. Most importantly, they found that recombination was correlated with antibiotic resistance. Regular readers know that I'm somewhat obsessed with the concept of environmentally-induced genetic modification (read here, here, and here). This new paper would suggest that antibiotic resistance genes are not the only thing getting shuffled around during those times of environmental stress. Very nifty.
Hanage et al. 2009. Hyper-recombination, diversity, and antibiotic resistance in Pneumococcus. Science 324:1454-1457.
Meanwhile, despite parking-lot traffic in downtown Atlanta, an automatic check-in kiosk at the Atlanta airport that didn't know who I was, and a massive allergy attack on the flight to Seattle, I have arrived mostly safe and reasonably sound in Moscow, Idaho for the big Evolution 2009 conference. I think I'm just going to report on the goings-on with little commentary. Unless something really sets me off. But that rarely happens. I'm very cool and collected.
Tonight's festivity: An address from every creationist's best friend, Genie Scott. Oh goody.