Archive for April, 2005

Wuz your ancestry?

The Christian Science Monitor has a decent article about the ancestry industry, which breaks down your ancestral fractions. For 99% of people this won’t tell them anything new, so the quote that “1/3 of people found significant mixture” is indicative to me that a lot of people who have doubts are the ones getting these […]

Norquist and dissimulation?

I don’t talk much about political stuff…but this is weird enough to pique my interest. Of late there is some talk that Grover Norquist is now a Muslim. Here is an entry at Daniel Pipes’ site that sums up the situation: Norquist married a 32 year old Palestinian American Muslim in early April. He has […]

Hobbit hhhmm….

Carl Zimmer passes on a report of a community of Pygmy Negritos a mile from the site where the Flores Hobbit was excavated. 13,000 years is a long time to maintain local continuity, but who knows? A few weeks ago John Hawks declared that the Flores specimen is pathological. I feel like I’m starting to […]

TV treats

For UK readers, Channel 4 TV has a few programmes of interest in the coming week: Monday 9.00 p.m.: Riddle of the Human Hobbits: an Equinox special. Monday 11.05 p.m.: Dr Tatiana’s Sex Guide To All Creation (part 1) Tuesday 11.10 p.m.: Dr Tatiana’s Sex Guide To All Creation (part 2) Wednesday 11.05 p.m.: Dr […]

The best of intentions

In 1204 a Western European contingent of “Crusaders” took a detour and ended up sacking Constantinople. The act has not gone down with honorable mention in the annals of history, my personal impression is that historians who tend to try and withhold judgement on happenings that today we might find distasteful have a hard time […]

Race Against Time

Many thanks to Razib for inviting me to guest-blog here at Gene Expression. Last week, in a Hot Needle of Inquiry post entitled “Memetic Accelerant“, Jinderella said: It really makes me angry when LGF is criticized for being a “hate site”. That just demonstrates a complete and total misunderstanding of the value and importance of […]

Culture vultures scavenging on biology

In the responses to my post below on the relationship between genetics and culinary preferences, Michael Blowhard offered the following: Yet there’s another way to look at it: makes for a better party! What if the African love of (and genius for) rhythm, and the Asian love of (and genius for) negative-space, and the Italian […]

Dragon’s battles

The narrative high point of Dragon Bone Hill: An Ice-Age Saga of Homo Erectus is on page 15: …One of his jobs was to obtain cadavers for the medical students’ dissection. The Beijing police were only too happy to oblige and one day sent over to the anatomy department a number of headless corpses of […]

Social Mobility: more data

I found another source of international comparisons of social mobility here. I wouldn’t pay much attention to the analysis, which is superficial, but the data are relevant. Discussion on my earlier post reminded me of Paul Fussell’s amusing book Class: Style and Status in the USA (1983). Fussell divides the American population into nine classes: […]

Slow and diverse food

I suspect most long-time GNXP readers would be surprised to know that over the past few hours I just read a book that sported blurbs from the modern Malthus, Paul Ehrlich, anti-transhumanist author Bill Mckibben and world famous chef Alice Waters. But Gary Nabhan’s book, Why Some Like it Hot, intersects with a personal interest […]

More on Social Mobility

I have previously posted on the subject of social mobility (for example here), so I thought I would report on an interesting new study by economists at the London School of Economics. A pdf copy is available here (NB: as this study has been in the news, the server may be temporarily overloaded. If so, […]

Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability

EurekAlert! summarizes a paper by Rushton and Jensen to appear in the June issue of Psychology, Public Policy and Law in ten handy points: The Worldwide Pattern of IQ Scores. Race Differences Most Pronounced on Tests of (g).The Gene-Environment Architecture of IQ.Brain Size Differences.Trans-Racial Adoption Studies.Racial Admixture Studies.IQ Scores of Blacks and Whites Regress toward […]

The dangers of genetic variation

Genetic variation increases during biological invasion by a Cuban lizard (Nature): A genetic paradox exists in invasion biology: how do introduced populations, whose genetic variation has probably been depleted by population bottlenecks, persist and adapt to new conditions…Genetic analyses indicate that at least eight introductions have occurred in Florida from across this lizard’s native range, […]

“Coming soon: drugs to match your DNA”

Coming soon: drugs to match your DNA. SCOTTISH doctors are building a unique gene database that will match medicines to individual patients, boosting the chances of effective treatment while reducing side-effects. Posted by razib at 04:17 PM

Copying Gene Expression Patterns

Method shows how precisely gene expression signals are copied in DNA replication “A group of University of Washington researchers has devised a method that combines DNA sampling and mathematical modeling to find out how accurately methylation patterns are copied during DNA replication. That could pave the way for understanding the role methylation plays in normal […]

Williams Syndrome Brain Images

Brain imaging study explains Williams syndrome language gifts: “Findings: A team of neuroscientists led by UCLA researchers used a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique to create the first detailed images showing how Williams syndrome affects the cerebral cortex. The study finds sharply defined cortical thickening and complexity in the area of the brain important […]

Swedish Nazi Ice Cream Madness

Racist nazi ice cream causes uproar in Sweden! Read all about it! Pictures inside! The Nazi ice cream from hell: And the money quote: “Soon the Ice cream giant was slammed for “racist” ads as the Center Against Racism issued a press release denouncing the new ice-cream. “* * This is a tax-payer funded organization. […]

Benedict XVI & evolution

There has been some talk about the new Pope and evolutionary theory. I certainly haven’t read In the Beginning…: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, a book that is a collection of five of Ratzinger’s homilies from the early 1980s, but the online references seem to suggest plain vanilla theistic […]

Whole population genome analysis

Method devised for whole-population DNA analysis. Seems more like a press release by the founder of a new biotech company than anything else, but there is more at The Wellcome Trust’s website. The projected company seems like it is looking to capitalize on the window of opportunity before the rise of truly personal genomics and […]

The Grand Old Man

123 years ago today, Charles Darwin died. So grip your glass with your opposable thumb and toast the man who revolutionized biology. Heres to you, Chuck! Posted by God Fearing Atheist at 05:20 PM

a