Archive for September, 2009

No sh*t psychology

Women Prefer Taken Guys: The most striking result was in the responses of single women. Offered a single man, 59 per cent were interested in pursuing a relationship. But when he was attached, 90 per cent said they were up for the chase. This is just a subset of the wisdom of Seinfeld. Labels: Biological […]

High Anxiety

Understanding the Anxious Mind. Jerome Kagan, Robert Plomin and Steven Pinker all make appearances. From personality psychology to fMRI. Labels: Behavior Genetics

Sweeps & Markov Models

Detecting Selective Sweeps: A New Approach Based on Hidden Markov Models. Over at Mailund on the Internet. Labels: Genomics

Exploratory copy number variation study

Identification of Copy Number Variants Defining Genomic Differences among Major Human Groups: Overall, our results provide a comprehensive view of relevant copy number changes that might play a role in phenotypic differences among major human populations, and generate a list of interesting candidates for future studies. The discussion is a little heavy on how the […]

Great Depression added 6.2 years to life expectancy

Life and death during the Great Depression: Recent events highlight the importance of examining the impact of economic downturns on population health. The Great Depression of the 1930s was the most important economic downturn in the U.S. in the twentieth century. We used historical life expectancy and mortality data to examine associations of economic growth […]

Creativity & psychosis

Possible confirmation of folk wisdom? Genes for Psychosis and Creativity: A Promoter Polymorphism of the Neuregulin 1 Gene Is Related to Creativity in People With High Intellectual Achievement: Why are genetic polymorphisms related to severe mental disorders retained in the gene pool of a population? A possible answer is that these genetic variations may have […]


Do readers of this weblog ever get bored? It seems that life is short, and there’s so much to do and read. I understand that work can quite often be tedious and mind-numbing, but that’s not quite what I’m talking about. What I’m referring to is having leisure or free time, and being bored because […]

Race, plaque and disease

Neutrophil Response to Dental Plaque by Gender and Race: The inflammatory response, which has both genetic and environmental components, is a central mechanism linking oral and systemic diseases. We hypothesized that dental plaque accumulation over 21 days in the experimental gingivitis model would elicit systemic inflammatory responses [change in white blood cell (WBC) count and […]

Next year a child! Or not….

Earlier this year I put a reader survey. One thing that stuck out was now few children readers of this weblog had. Here’s a comparison with other demographics from the GSS: Mean Number of Children For Men By For Age Classes GSS, 2000-2008, Males Only Age GNXP N GNXP All Males Bachelor’s Degree Advanced Degree […]

Caste in India

David Reich says “There are populations that have lived in the same town and same village for thousands of years without exchanging genes.” Sounds familiar. If this was indeed the case, and if fitness payoffs differed significantly between castes – then there has almost certainly been genetic adaptation. Those whose ancestors lived a particular kind […]

Same glasses edition

John Hawks & I did a diavlog for Science Saturday. We decided it would be appropriate to synchronize with dark-rimmed glasses. Also, Mr. Parrot kind of decided it was an opportune time to make a huge racket by swinging his perch against the cage repeatedly. Just so you know…. Labels: bloggingheads

Flatfish Gradual Evolution

Having recently posted on the subject of Charles Darwin’s ‘gradualism’, I was pleased to see a news report on research showing the gradual evolution of the distinctive head of flatfish, which, like many of Picasso’s portraits, have both eyes on the same side of the face. In Darwin’s time this case was raised, especially by […]

Straight porn makes you gay

This is making the rounds of the internet: Schwartz told the crowd about Jim Johnson, a friend of his who turned an old hotel into a hospice for gay men dying of AIDS. “One of the things he said to me,” said Schwartz, “that I think is an astonishingly insightful remark…he said ‘All pornography is […]

The Staffordshire Hoard

Exciting news for Anglo-Saxonists here.

Vitamin D & athleticism

Phys Ed: Can Vitamin D Improve Your Athletic Performance?: Although few studies have looked closely at the issue of Vitamin D and athletic performance, those that have are suggestive. A series of strange but evocative studies undertaken decades ago in Russia and Germany, for instance, hint that the Eastern Bloc nations may have depended in […]

Antitrust suits are brought by busted businesses, not consumer crusaders: Dairy edition

After reading Arthur De Vany’s Hollywood Economics and Winners, Losers, and Microsoft by Stan Liebowitz and Stephen Margolis, I got the impression that antitrust cases on the whole have been misguided and often remarkably stupid. Looking a little more into it, I found that economists now are pretty much agreed on that picture. Here is […]

The genomes of Indians

A new paper is getting a lot of press, Reconstructing Indian population history. I will probably have something up on ScienceBlogs tomorrow (have to read the supplements). But I thought I’d highlight a paragraph in the text: We warn that ‘models’ in population genetics should be treated with caution. Although they provide an important framework […]

American “Nones”, sex differences

American Religious Identification Survey 2008 has a new survey, American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population. Not surprising, but interesting: There are a couple of additional findings worth noting here. Looking at retention by gender, Nones are more likely to retain men than women: 66% of men who reported no religion at age […]

People who spank are aggressive

A follow up to the previous post. I keep seeing the research from this paper in the press, Spanking detrimental to children, study says: Berlin and colleagues found that children who were spanked as 1-year-olds tended to behave more aggressively at age 2, and did not perform as well as other children on a test […]

Behavior is heritable you know….

Genes May Explain Why Children Who Live Without Dads Have Earlier Sex: Mendle and her colleagues looked at more than 1,000 cousins ages 14 and older from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The study design tested for genetic influences as well as factors such as poverty, educational opportunities, and religion. It compared children who […]