Archive for June, 2006

Moral intuitions & the evolution of cognition

Over at The American Scene Ross posts about the conundrum that many couples face when having to discard their excess embryos in the context of in vitro fertilization. He states: Intuitions are unreliable and changeable, and they’re shaped by cultural factors as much as they shape them. I have basically argued before that the axiomatic […]

Lynn Review

As of this morning the journal Intelligence has a positive review of Lynn’s Race Differences in Intelligence, from behavior geneticist John Loehlin. One issue raised earlier was the reliability of the numbers Lynn reports. Loehlin writes: Are the numbers accurate? I checked a sample of 40 of the 615 rows in the IQ tables against […]

Math = conservative, Verbal = liberal

I have a post on my other weblog where I’m asking about why mathematical disciplines tend to more conservative in academia. I know there are many references in JSTOR but I’m strapped for time, so could people please dump references into the comment box? I am especially interested in the psychometric finding (I’ve seen it!) […]

Structural polymorphisms and SNPs

When looking for genes or alleles involved in a phenotype, especially “complex” phenotypes where many genetic factors are involved, the most powerful approach is often an association study– type a large number of variants in some cases and some controls (or just a bunch of people if you’re talking about a quantitive trait) and see […]

Sex differences in mental abilities

Rikurzhen has pointed us to this paper in press at Intelligence by the Minnesota psychometrician Wendy Johnson and her colleagues. This is actually the latest in a series of technical papers analyzing the mental test scores of the twins, spouses, and siblings (biological and adoptive) who took part in the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared […]

Sex, Booze and Violence – Another tale from the Blank Slate

The Swedish government, a world leader in gender equity, decided last year to ban bars and restaurants from enforcing different ages of admittance for men and women. Up until then it was commonplace to allow women to enter at, say, age 20, while the men had to wait until they were 22 or so to […]

Dinosaur comics

I can’t get enough Dinosaur Comics. This might be my favorite site on the internet. T-Rex on: HeLa Cells, Thermodynamics, Genetics, Philosophy, Intelligent Design, and Science vs. Religion (prequel, 1, 2, and 3). OK, enough. Get back to work!

Imprinting articles

The March 2006 issue of Cytogenetic and Genome Research was entirely dedicated to genomic imprinting. I know some of y’all cats are into this business. There’s one by Haig entitled Intragenomic Politics, and several on regulatory mechanisms which are more my speed, including one about small non-coding RNAs. Of course, the articles aren’t free, but […]

The Universal Law of Interpersonal Dynamics

Every once in a while I realize something with my conscious mind that I’ve understood implicitly for a long time. Such a thing happened to me yesterday, while reading a post on Stalin, by Amritas. It is this: S = P + E Social Status equals Political Capital plus Economic Capital Now, if someone were […]

Mormonism + Derrida = Clark

While I’m recommending weblogs, I thought I’d point readers to Clark Gobles’ Mormon Philosophy & Theology. Now, I know that most readers here aren’t religious, and there is probably a mildly anti-philosophical bias as well, but, if you want to sample an “Intermontane” flavor of Derrida discourse, Clark is your man. Think of him as […]

Clustered plasticity model

If you’re at all interested in long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), you’re going to want to read this review/opinion by Govindarajan, Kelleher, and Tonegawa in July’s Nature Reviews Neuroscience. This team has previously written one of the best comprehensive reviews of neuronal translation control mechanisms. They do a brief reprise on that business, […]

Venter profile

Via Free Association comes a profile of Craig Venter, the so-called “maverick biologist”. 1. Apparently Venter is going to be publishing his own genome sequence shortly and making it publicly available, which is pretty cool. If technically trivial, would you do the same? I’ll go ahead and say I would–Venter makes the good point that […]

Escape from the P-Bodies

When I’m writin’ I’m trapped in between the lines. I escape when I finish the rhyme. – Rakim I wanted to go a little deeper into one of the new papers in the recent Cell. It is a set of findings in miRNA research that can be tangentially related to synaptic plasticity. For the field […]

Swedes are still having sex, and Finns are not

Well, pretty soon Craig Newmark’s cherubic visage is going to be on Time. Craig’s List is expanding and taking over the world. So, the numbers of “personals” posted in Sweden’s Craig’s List: 131. Finland? 34. As for the debate about which is the “gay capital of Europe” between partisans of Stockholm & Helsinki: Men seeking […]

Free Charlie Rose

If you’re a pseudo-intellectual such as myself who gets tired of reading all the time but still wants to be able to pretend to be familiar with the great thinkers and major political figures of our time, you may be interested to find that many episodes of Charlie Rose are available for free on Google […]

Half Sigma

Half Sigma has piqued my interest of late. He makes really bold claims, above and beyond what a cautious reading of data might imply, but, at least he consults the data. That’s more than can be said for most political blogging, which seems to draw from the bullshit of the heart. Inductivist is worth a […]

Population-specific HIV

Before you read this, check out Razib’s excellent 10 questions with Jim Crow, which I am unfortunately knocking off the top of the blog. So a little while back, I wrote about a paper describing the evolution of a bacteria over the course of an infection (Aetiology also had a post–a better one, truth be […]

10 questions for Jim Crow

James F. Crow is Professor Emeritus of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin. A collaborator with Motoo Kimura on Neutral Theory, he remains an active member of the evolutionary genetics community. 1) In 2002 in “Perspective: Here’s to Fisher, additive genetic variance, and the fundamental theorem of natural selection,” you conclude, “is there any other […]

Twinning rates

Gary Steinman is the researcher who published the findings that diet may modify fraternal twinning rates. I just listened to him giving an interview on the radio, and he made the following points: Fraternal twinning rate seems to track basal levels of IGF Basal levels of IGF vary across populations, Sub-Saharan Africans have the highest […]

A penny for your hypothesis

Below the fold is a map which shows where our Ozzie readers hail from…. So what’s up with Alice Springs? Is it just a nodal point for all the IPs from the great outback? Or are my posts about blonde aboriginals driving this?