Archive for April, 2008

Doping & genetic background?

Some Athletes’ Genes Help Outwit Doping Test : The 55 men in a drug doping study in Sweden were normal and healthy. And all agreed, for the sake of science, to be injected with testosterone and then undergo the standard urine test to screen for doping with the hormone. The results were unambiguous: the test […]

What predicts Creationism?

Public Acceptance of Evolution Labels: creationism

Ben Stein is a barbarian?

John Derbyshire has a long column excoriating Ben Stein and the Discovery Institute titled A Blood Libel on Our Civilization: And there is science, perhaps the greatest of all our achievements, because nowhere else on earth did it appear. China, India, the Muslim world, all had fine cities and systems of law, architecture and painting, […]

The rise of Literature?

For a few weeks I’ve been mulling over a “theory” about the nature of contemporary fiction. The quotes are because this is a theory in the way that normal people have theories; they don’t know much and just make up plausible (to their mind) models that are ultimately grounded in a whole lot of ignorance. […]

Gene Genie #30

Over at my other weblog. Labels: Genetics

The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World

A few weeks ago Tyler Cowen mentioned he was reading David W. Anthony’s The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. I ordered it on Amazon, and it was hanging around the house so I decided to check it out early this evening…I read all 466 […]

Pardis Sabeti profiled in Science

Picking Up Evolution’s Beat. Via Kambiz. A representative paper.

Before Out of Africa….

A new paper, The Dawn of Human Matrilineal Diversity, is out in AJHG. I read too much John Hawks to really be all that excited about mtDNA based studies, and this paper is Mitochondrial Eve to the nth power. But…I do think it is indicative of a trend which suggests a rollback from the most […]

The genetics of adaptation in Arabidopsis

One of the “debates” currently occupying evolutionary biology is whether evolution occurs primarily via changes in protein-coding sequence or via changes in gene regulation (apparently it’s become so heated that battles between the two camps are now fought through t-shirts). As understanding of the genetics of adaptation advances, this debate will likely fade away–a priori, […]

Where have all the Smiths gone?

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science asks where asks where all the Smiths have gone: Sam Roberts writes, In 1984, according to the Social Security Administration, nearly 3.4 million Smiths lived in the United States. In 1990, the census counted 2.5 million. By 2000, the Smith population had declined to fewer than 2.4 million. […]

A picture is worth a thousand words, part n

The caption: The first column shows the theoretical expected PC maps for a class of models in which genetic similarity decays with geographic distance (see text for details). The second column shows PC maps for population genetic data simulated with no range expansions, but constant homogeneous migration rate, in a two-dimensional habitat. The columns marked […]

When the weirdos are white

Clark has a post pointing to the obvious parallels between the practices of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and those of West African immigrants. The “problem” with the FLDS situation is pretty clear; they’re WASPs with weird folkways. Of course the reaction to the FLDS is simply a retread of […]

MCPH1 & cranial volume in Chinese

A common SNP of MCPH1 is associated with cranial volume variation in Chinese population: Microcephaly (MCPH) genes are informative in understanding the genetics and evolution of human brain volume. MCPH1 and abnormal spindle-like MCPH associated (ASPM) are the two known MCPH causing genes that were suggested undergone recent positive selection in human populations. However, previous […]

European population substructure…again

The discussion continues in regards to the relationship of various West Eurasian and North African groups (i.e., Europeans, North Africans and Near Easterners). There have been several papers published within the last few years which shed some light on these questions. We’ve blogged them before, and I don’t think that they radically alter what you […]

Europeans, Jews and Middle Easterners

Greg’s post about SNPs, Jews and evolutionary genetic parameters has been getting a lot of play around the blogs & forums. Most of it seems to be due to the persistent interest in the genetic relationship of Ashkenazi Jews to other European populations. This makes sense, since the 19th century the question of how the […]

The consciousness of John Derbyshire

If you read The Corner you know that John has been in Tucson for the Toward a Science of Consciousness conference the past week. He’s now assembled his reflections. Labels: Neuroscience

SNPs don’t lie

There was an interesting paper in BMC Genetics back in in February: “Analysis of genetic variation in Ashkenazi Jews by high density SNP genotyping. ” They ran 500K Affy chips on 100 Ashkenazi women and on 60 CEPH-derived HapMap (CEU) individuals. They hoped to find greater levels of linkage disequilibrium and lower haplotype complexity among […]

Notes on Sewall Wright: the Measurement of Kinship

Most people with an interest in genetics will be aware that Sewall Wright made major contributions to the theory of kinship or relatedness. Fewer people will have any direct knowledge of his work on the subject, and those who do consult his writings may find them difficult. The present note is intended to help those […]

Mass conversions from Islam to Christianity?

Pajamas Media has a post up, Muslims Leaving Islam in Droves, which seems to be getting a bit of linkage. There’s a lot of weird stuff in this post, so I figured I’d offer a little quick commentary on the assertions and data. I’m not going to do detailed citations at this point of why […]

Books & papers of note

This is an open thread where you can post links or pointers to books & papers you think might be interesting to those who read this weblog in comments. I generally get a lot of good pointers via comments, but if this works out I’ll just post this every month or so. I’ll leave the […]