Thursday, January 19, 2012

Draft post cleanup #21: Tracking progress on the vertebrate tree of life

Yet another post in my "draft blog post cleanup" series. Here is #21; from March 2010:

A very interesting paper came out recently from colleagues of mine at UC Davis:  Rapid progress on the vertebrate tree of life.  I did not know they were working on this but perhaps should have.  It has some fun/interesting analysis of the accumulation of phylogenetic knowledge over time.  For example see Figure 1

Cumulative phylogenetic information amassed for the last 16 years. The accumulation of sequences for vertebrates in GenBank (a), papers using the term 'phylogeny' or 'phylogenetics' in the Web of Science database (b) and phylogenetic resolution (measured as the proportion of nodes with at least 50% bootstrap support) in the vertebrate tree of life resulting from these research efforts (c). In all cases, the data are cumulative from the start of each analysis. Phylogenetic resolution is calculated as in Table 1. Trend lines are exponential in (a), and second order polynomial in (b) and (c).



The rest of the paper is worth a look.

And alas I stopped there ... I think I wanted to get Brad Shaffer and Bob Thomson's comments on the paper but never got around to it.  Two years later the paper still is worth a look ...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dr. Eisen, Did you know about google's ngram analysis? It lets you search the use of words over time.

    http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=Jesus%2Cevolution&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3

    The figure you posted kind of reminded me of this. I wish we could do this analysis for scientific journals.

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