Archive for July, 2005

7-7 bombers,who were they?

Seething Unease Shaped British Bombers’ Newfound Zeal. Related: Profile of Salafi jihadists…. Update: A British Jihadist. Update II: This part of the article from The Prospect (an interview with a gleeful radical) is interesting: Taseer: Given that the Koran is incontestable to the letter, and that it is unique because there is no another religion […]

Continuity, or not….

Dienekes reports on recent extractions of mtDNA from remains in the Iberian peninsula1…not surprisingly (to me at least) there is continuity between the ancient populations and modern ones. This is relevant to debates about replacement of various aspects of the identity of one people by another. In places like Hungary, Spain or France it seems […]

Not genes and not environment

On many measures, identical (monozygotic, MZ) twins are not in fact “identical”, despite the fact that they share essentially identical DNA and highly similar family environments. Indeed, for some traits, such as personality, all non-genetic effects appear to be of the kind that makes siblings different than one another. Peer socialization is one plausible source […]

Stem cells….

Drudge says that Bill Frist will back stem cell research funding.

Battle of the disciplines

I’m conflicted, Discovering functional relationships: biochemistry versus genetics: Biochemists and geneticists, represented by Doug and Bill in classic essays, have long debated the merits of their methods. We revisited this issue using genomic data from the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and found that genetic interactions outperformed protein interactions in predicting functional relationships between genes. However, […]

Eating their own

Seems like there is some intellectual cannibalism going on over on the Left. The Savage Minds anthropology weblog is being stomped on from all angles of the Progressosphere because they dared to point a sharp object at Jared Diamond. Kerim has the round up. He pointed to us back when Greg & Henry’s paper broke […]

Cajun genetics

Here is a profile of a researcher who has been on the Cajun beat for a while now. If you are a member of a small relatively homogenous group which has weird diseases and keeps decent records, well, expect more of this sort of thing.

Not a “paradox” at all

The article, The Christian Paradox is making the rounds. It starts: Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife…Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches […]

Play with meiosis

One of the main reasons this site is around is to make basic genetic knowledge a casual background feature of the data bases of people who would otherwise not know much about this important science (another reason, at least for me, is to dump a lot of historical and non-science data out there to a […]

The wild “horse” and other knots

Przewalski’s Horse: Some authorities believe the Przewalski is a direct ancestor of the modern day domesticated horse. Others contend this is not possible as the Przewalski is a different species having sixty-six chromosomes while the domestic horse carries sixty-four. It is possible to cross the Przewalski with the domestic horse, and the resulting hybrid is […]

Beyound the omniscient CPU

In Genesis 6:3 God states “…My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” And yet if you keep reading you note that many people do live beyond 120 year in the Bible. And in the past century people have […]

Worm’s life

In 1998 the C. elegans genome was complete. Two years later we had the draft of the human genome. The connection between these two events is the “hook” for Andrew Brown’s In the Beginning Was the Worm: Finding the Secrets of Life in a Tiny Hermaphrodite (also author of the The Darwin Wars, which focuses […]

Some Musings on Patent Law

In Razib’s post Patents, genes and Jews some commentators raised concerns about the patents granted, so I thought I’d expound a bit on this particular issue. There is a long legal debate underlying the patentability of claims that many critics feel should be classified as being within the Common Heritage of Mankind. I get the […]

Patents, genes and Jews

Slate has an interesting piece up that highlights the controversy with patenting aspects of the BRCA2 gene. Of course the article focuses on the specific case of Jews, but as far as the ultimate issues of intellectual rights relating to genetic sequences and the methods to ascertain their identity, this is the tip of the […]

Religion in public life

Randall has a long post up where he highlights a book titled The Impossibility of Religious Freedom, which addresses the legal implications of religious pluralism. There are many complicated issues here, and I simply ask readers to check out the facts for themselves, but not get too caught up in the details. From the introduction: […]

British Army Music Video

It seems that the lads in Iraq can find some free time to make an absolutely hilarious music video entitled “Is this the way to Armadillo?” Click here to watch “Is this the way to Armadillo” UPDATE: Here is the version done by Dutch troops stationed in Afghanistan. Here is the original version that the […]

Across the gap

RAPID EVOLUTIONARY ESCAPE BY LARGE POPULATIONS FROM LOCAL FITNESS PEAKS IS LIKELY IN NATURE: Fitness interactions between loci in the genome, or epistasis, can result in mutations that are individually deleterious but jointly beneficial. Such epistasis gives rise to multiple peaks on the genotypic fitness landscape…Here we develop an analytic expression for Ncrit, the critical […]

The “concept” of a “religion”

Over at Randy’s place a heated discussion about Islam & homosexuality has broken out (via Abiola). One of the issues that (as always) crops up is the “true” Islam vs. Islamism dispute. To which I ask, what is the more birdy bird, a robin or an ostrich? Both are birds by a checklist definition, or […]

PLOS Genetics is open for business!

PLOS Genetics is online today! The full interview with Neil Risch is up. Snip that might interest readers: Clinton, for example, when the first draft of the human genome sequence came out, made a statement about how all people in the world, in terms of their genetic makeup, are 99.9% the same. His intent—to reduce […]

Expertise, knowledge….

One of my favorite biblical scholars, Richard Elliott Friedman, is out with a new book, The Bible with Sources Revealed.1 In the introduction he notes: …Both traditional and radical scholars…have claimed that the hypothesis [the Documentary Hypothesis] has been overthrown, that “hardly anybody believes that anymore,”…The hypothesis that, supposedly, no one believes anymore continues to […]