Archive for December, 2005

Highlights from ‘GNXP 2005′

Well, 2005 certainly proved to be a compelling year here at GNXP. From the Larry Summers “scandal” to Ashkenazi intelligence “overclocking” and on to Bruce Lahn’s research — the year was definitely not a dull one! Below the fold are some highlights from ‘GNXP 2005′ — this collection is by no means comprehensive — and, […]

Books for the New Year

What books are you going to be reading as 2006 unfolds? I suspect most of us are always behind and short of time, but I am curious as to what has caught the attention of GNXP readers. I’ll be working my way through Will Provine’s The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics, somewhat parochial of course, […]

Aslan’s in the house!

If you haven’t checked it out, you have to see the Lazy Sunday video where Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell rap about The Chronicles of Narnia.

Evoking the season

“Culture” is difficult to define. Sometimes it is used to indicate a particular mix of preferences which have a strong correlation with the social elites, i.e., those who enjoy opera, live theater or classical music. In a more prosaic context it is usually thought of as socially transmitted behaviors and folkways that are particular to […]

A neo-neo-Darwinian Synthesis?

Mike Lynch has a new sweeping paper titled The Origins of Eukaryotic Gene Structure over at Molecular Biology and Evolution. In it he attempts to marry population genetic theory with a broad evolutionary view of genomic architecture. I won’t really attempt to summarize Lynch’s paper, but if you have a biological background I highly recommend […]

Tis the Season to Learn Better

With Christmas here, I have to wonder, how many kids recognize the parallels between Jesus and Santa and discard the former with the latter. I honestly don’t know. It seems like it should be a lot, but doesn’t seem to be that common. I was raised reform Jewish, so it took me a long time […]

Bigger is better

Sandra Witelson (who examined Albert Einstein’s brain), et al., have a paper in Brain which reports on their study on intelligence and brain size in 100 postmortem brains. They conclude that bigger is indeed better; however, they found differences between men and women. From EurekaAlert: In women, verbal intelligence was clearly correlated with brain size, […]

Ancient polymorphism

Ancient balanced polymorphism preserved in Chinese ethnic minorities.

Moyzis paper

There’s an interesting article (by Eric Wang, Bob Moyzis and company, using HapMap data) coming out in the next day or so in PNAS. It’s covered by Science: Seems that they’ve found some 1800 human genes currently undergoing selective sweeps: most are regional. The gene functions ae highly concentrated in host-pathogen interactions, reproduction, DNA […]

The Anglican origins of neo-Darwinianism?

In terms of the relationship between religion and “neo-Darwinianism,” it is interesting to remember that R.A. Fisher, the mathematical geneticist who fused quantitative (biometrical) genetics with Mendelian theory and data, and served as the driving force and spark being the Modern Synthesis,1 was a conventional Anglican. The gradualist-selectionist orthodoxy elaborated by Richard Dawkins is a […]

The humanities & the university

John Emerson has a long post up ruminating on the symbiosis between the humanities and the academy. John’s post appeals to me obviously, I certainly will never pursue a doctorate in the humanities or social sciences, but I have interests in Roman & Chinese history (my lack of fluency in other languages serves as a […]

Birth weight and IQ

Aftenposten, one of the leading newspapers in Norway, ran a story on Saturday about a study on birth weight and IQ conducted by Martha Gunn Eide, a researcher at the University of Bergen. (Eide is a medical doctor and this research represents her work toward a Doctorate of Medicine degree. Her thesis is entitled “Associations […]

Unhiding the embryo

Reacting to this, I felt the need to point out that this is what a blastocyst looks like: Those round things are individual cells. The zona pellucida is the human equivalent of an egg shell. The inner cell mass is the important part.

10 questions for Dan Sperber

Dan Sperber (you can read many of his publications at his website) is an anthropologist based in France, whose work Explaining Culture, lays forth his ideas in regards to the “epidemiology of representations.” 1) If I recall correctly, you stated on an interview for EDGE that you became an anthropologist because of your confusion as […]

Endless forms most continuous

What is evolution? I just had someone email me that people often ask him about his “belief” in evolution. This reiterates the point that people consider evolution a belief system, not a scientific paradigm. No matter how ridiculous it seems, how is it that we arrived at this juncture? There are multiple factors that have […]

Race is skin deep

A fascinating paper just came out in Science, SLC24A5, a Putative Cation Exchanger, Affects Pigmentation in Zebrafish and Humans. Heather L. Norton is one of the authors listed, so she knew very well what she was talking about when she suggested that there was far more to skin color variation than MC1R. Here is the […]

Finite state systems

HOW E. COLI BACTERIUM GENERATES SIMPLICITY FROM COMPLEXITY “In a surprise about E. coli that may offer clues about how human cells operate, the PNAS paper reports that only a handful of dominant metabolic states are found in E. coli when it is “grown” in 15,580 different environments in computer simulations.” “When it comes to […]

PLoS Roundup Dec 15

Let’s work on knocking McConaughey off the main page. Here’s a quick summary of new stuff that just came out in PLoS journals. The full texts of each article are freely available. 1. Ablation of the Sam68 RNA Binding Protein Protects Mice from Age-Related Bone Loss. Osteoporosis is a debilitating bone disease that is characterized […]

10 days to X-mas

Just a reminder, with 10 days to x-mas/hanukkah, note that if you buy any books (to the right) via this website, or search for books via this site, we get a kick back. This also counts if you go into amazon via a session started through a click-through from this site.

Gotta luv those Irish genes…

I feel terribly remiss at not having posted on this earlier (!) — but last month People magazine named Matthew McConaughey ‘2005′s Sexiest Man Alive.’ Can’t say that I see it myself — although the Southern charm is quite — charming. (Of course, if you can pull Penelope Cruz, you probably got a lot more […]