Interesting Paper: A support vector machine based test for incongruence between sets of trees in tree space

From BMC Bioinformatics:

A support vector machine based test for incongruence between sets of trees in tree space

Haws, D.C., Huggins, P., O’Neill, E.M., Weisrock, D.W., and Yoshida R.

Background
The increased use of multi-locus data sets for phylogenetic reconstruction has increased the need to determine whether a set of gene trees significantly deviate from the phylogenetic patterns of other genes. Such unusual gene trees may have been influenced by other evolutionary processes such as selection, gene duplication, or horizontal gene transfer.

Results
Motivated by this problem we propose a nonparametric goodness-of-fit test for two empirical distributions of gene trees, and we developed the software GeneOut to estimate a p-value for the test. Our approach maps trees into a multi-dimensional vector space and then applies support vector machines (SVMs) to measure the separation between two sets of pre-defined trees.

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Link: A support vector machine based test for incongruence between sets of trees in tree space.

Six Most Isolated Groups

Cracked articles are often an edifying way to waste time, and I really enjoyed 6 Isolated Groups Who Had No Idea That Civilization Existed. Here’s a photo from Survival International on the Sentinelese:

“The Sentinelese tribe make their home on North Sentinel Island, India. They’re named after the island they live on, because nobody actually knows what they call themselves. In fact, generally speaking, nobody knows much of anything about them. After they survived the 2004 tsunami that swept right over their island (another thing we don’t know: how the hell they managed to do that), we sent a few helicopters over the island to photograph them and make sure they were still around.”