Our new paper using “ancestralized” transgenic flies for evo-devo

eLife published our paper, “Ancient mechanisms for the evolution of the bicoid homeodomain’s function in fly development.” The paper marks the first time that transgenic animals carrying reconstructed ancestral proteins have been used to study the evolution of development. This… Continue Reading →

Aarti’s paper on rampant errors in selection tests because of multinucleotide mutations

Nature Ecology and Evolution published our paper, “Multinucleotide mutations cause false inferences of lineage-specific positive selection.” The work was part of Aarti Venkat’s thesis, and it was especially fun to work with coauthor Matt Hahn, an expert in MNMs at… Continue Reading →

Congratulations Dr. Starr and Dr. Venkat!

In the last two months, Tyler and Aarti successfully defended the beautiful work in their dissertations. Dr. Tyler will soon start a postdoc with Jesse Bloom and Erick Matsen at the Fred Hutch in Seattle, and Dr. Aarti is a… Continue Reading →

New paper in PNAS on contingency and entrenchment

PNAS has just published our paper, “Pervasive contingency and entrenchment in a billion years of Hsp90 evolution.”  It’s the product of a great collaboration with Dan Bolon’s lab, and our graduate student Tyler Starr is a co-first author. Here are… Continue Reading →

Our new paper in Nature on alternative protein histories

Today Nature published graduate student Tyler Starr’s magnum opus*, Alternative evolutionary histories in the sequence space of an ancient protein.  The paper reports on the first application of deep mutational scanning to a reconstructed ancestral protein.  This approach allowed us to compare the… Continue Reading →

Job opening: Research scientist and Lab manager

The Thornton Lab seeks an experienced biochemist and molecular biologist with interest in evolution, great people skills, and strong organizational ability.  As a senior scientist in the lab, you will conduct independent research, help to coordinate the lab’s operations, and work closely with students and… Continue Reading →

Testing adaptation using “ancestralized” transgenic animals

Nature Ecology and Evolution published our paper, “Experimental test and refutation of a classic case of molecular adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster.” Led by graduate student Mo Siddiq, the paper reports on the first experiments on transgenic animals carrying reconstructed ancestral genes.  Mo used this… Continue Reading →

Congratulations to Professor Carrie Olson-Manning

Carrie Olson-Manning has opened her own lab as an Assistant Professor at Augustana University, one of the Midwest’s highest-ranked colleges. Carrie will continue her awesome research on the evolution of biochemical pathways.  While a postdoc in our lab, she worked on… Continue Reading →

Science News on evolutionary biochemistry

This Science News feature story  on ancestral reconstruction and  evolutionary biochemistry features our lab’s work, as well as that of the Harms, Bloom, and Theobald labs.    

New paper (and NY Times story) on the evolution of organized multicellularity

eLife published our paper,  “Evolution of an ancient protein function involved in organized multicellularity in animals,” and the brilliant Carl Zimmer covered it in a nice article in the New York Times.  The paper discusses the evolution of a new protein function… Continue Reading →

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