Archive for December, 2006

Human Genetics round-up

The new issue of Human Genetics has three articles that may interest GNXP readers. A study on the genetics of height looked at two groups of normal Japanese males (i.e., no cases of Marfan Syndrome), one tall (+2 SD; N =219) and one average (+/- 1 SD; N = 209). A SNP in the FBN1 […]

Gay sheep, forbidden science?

Science told: hands off gay sheep: Scientists are conducting experiments to change the sexuality of “gay” sheep in a programme that critics fear could pave the way for breeding out homosexuality in humans. You can read the whole article yourself. Randall Parker has been saying for years that genetic engineering will accentuate human differences as […]

2006 Darwin Awards

So, they are here. Moral of story: Obey the laws of physics kids! With no further ado – the winners: Hammer of Doom: A Brazil man tried to disassemble a missile by car, and by sledgehammer… Copper Kite String: Precautions must be taken to avoid sudden electrocution… High on Life: Four feet found protruding from […]

I’m brown dammit!

I was in a public place the other day and some small Arab-looking guy was talking really loudly in what sounded like Arabic on the phone. I was reading a book and eventually the guy was like, “Hey, do you speak Arabic?” I was like, “No.” And he replied, “Do you speak Mexican?” And I […]

Speech and motor feedback

I am really enjoying Buzsaki’s book. The chapter I’m in now is about perturbations of the intrinsic network activity of the nervous system. He examines some of the earliest developing examples of intrinsic neural activity: self-generated activities that help organize the retina to visual cortex mapping and the twitches and kicks of the developing fetus. […]

Bailey vs. Ann Althouse

Ron Bailey and Ann Althouse get into it over the Frank-Meyer-is-racist-issue. Virginia Postrel defends Ron. No one who reads this blog will be surprised with my general sympathy for Ron in this matter, in part because I agree with his analysis on the merits (even removing the new data he brings to the table), and […]

“Western ideals” of beauty look to the South

Following a recent suggestion, I was just checking out the Lacey Chabert spread at Maxim’s website, where I noticed a hottie ranking of theirs called 2006 Hot 100. Granted, individuals may quibble with aspects of the ranking, but it is presumably the product of many minds with diverse tastes in female appearance, so it’s objective […]

Ali on the radio

Blogger Ali Eteraz will be on the radio 4:30 PM today PDT (check link for webfeed).

DevIntel at SB

Chris Chatham has moved on over to Seed’s megasite finally. You could do a lot worse than reading his entries and the discussion he inspires. Here’s some on the potential for enhancing working memory with dopamine system manipulations.

Rome vs. Assyria

SharpBlue on Rome vs. Assyria. Interesting fact, the last great Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal, could read and write (remember, this is before widespread use of phonetic script, so this was no mean feat). Thanks to Ashurbanipal’s library much of the corpus of Sumerian and Akkadian literature came down to us.

YouTube Open Thread

Post YouTube’s that you think are really interesting to GNXP readers in the comments.

Rate of Evolution in Brain-Expressed Genes in Humans and Other Primates

Rate of Evolution in Brain-Expressed Genes in Humans and Other Primates: Our analyses of the rates of protein evolution in these species suggest that genes expressed in the human brain have in fact slowed down in their evolution since the split between human and chimpanzee, contrary to some previously published reports. We suggest that advanced […]

PS3 vs. WII

I stopped playing video games when I was 16. So I don’t get a lot of the references of the below comparison… (guess which one likes science fiction) [below the fold for after work]

Althouse is wrong, Goldberg is right

On this segment Ann Althouse rips Jonah Goldberg for his quasi-defense of a discussion of the ideas and influence of Frank Meyer, the libertarian conservative who was the father of “fusionism” and arguably the man behind William F. Buckley’s throne. Althouse was appalled that at a Liberty Fund event to which she was invited […]

The nose knows

The paper on the ability of humans to track smells contained a couple interesting references on the human specific loss of some olfactory genes (see an old post here for an interesting correlation between the loss of these genes and the rise of color vision). Apparently, some genes have both functional and non-functional versions that […]

The smell of victory

Humans can track smells, and the ability to do so is greatly aided by practice (and the use of both nostrils). Very cool: Whether mammalian scent-tracking is aided by inter-nostril comparisons is unknown. We assessed this in humans and found that (i) humans can scent-track, (ii) they improve with practice, (iii) the human nostrils sample […]

Evangelical Atheists and the Sciences of Religion

I spent some time with the Edge Reality Club today. I hadn’t had time to read it yet. It is no surprise to me that Scott Atran is closest to me ideology and analysis. I liked his book far better than any of Harris’, Dawkins’, and Dennett’s books I’ve read.The topic of the discussion was […]

ASPM and flagella

In the profile of Bruce Lahn in Science, the following quote, on the possibility that the selective pressure on ASPM could be due to sperm function, stood out to me: But genome researcher Chris Ponting of the University of Oxford, U.K., notes that microcephalin and ASPM are also expressed outside the brain. In last May’s […]

Human monogamy is a farce!

EDIT: I just found a paper (posted here)estimating the rate of human EPC to be between

Universal Granules

First order of business: RIP James Brown. RNAs aren’t just allowed to roam around the cell unescorted. They are most often found in association with RNA-binding proteins. One of the important stories from the past year was that assocation of RNAs with particular proteins involved in the microRNA interference pathway caused them to be localized […]