This Wednesday (14/10 2009), I was thinking that we should discuss a recent TREE-article that deals with the fascinating topic of "hidden" genetic variation and its evolutionary implications. You can find this article here. Also, here is another background article, also from TREE, for those of you who wish to learn more.
Hidden genetic variation is genetic variation that is not normally expressed, e. g. genes that is contingent upon environmental conditions before they are expressed, and hence before they can be "seen" by natural or sexual selection and thus contribute to adaptive evolutionary change.
A well-known example of hidden genetic variation are so-called stress proteins or heat shock proteins, that function as molecular "chaperones" to protect cells during extreme environmental conditions, e. g. during high temperature conditions. How important is such hidden genetic variation in evolution? This what we should discuss, among several other topics.
I also hope that our new CAnMove-postdoc Sophia Engel (shared with Anders Hedenströms laboratory) will join in Wednesday, as she has now arrived to Lund. This would be an excellent opportunity to meet the rest of our lab and introduce her to the crowd.
Time and place as usual: "Darwin" at 10.00 on Wednesday (14/10). Any fika-volunteer?