Archive for August, 2010

Phoneme Inventory Size and Demography

Mirrored from A Replicated Typo It’s long since been established that demography drives evolutionary processes (see Hawks, 2008 for a good overview). Similar attempts are also being made to describe cultural (Shennan, 2000; Henrich, 2004; Richerson & Boyd, 2009) and linguistic (Nettle, 1999a; Wichmann & Homan, 2009; Vogt, 2009) processes by considering the effects of […]

10 Questions for Hugh Pope

I have posted a Q & A with author Hugh Pope over at Discover. Other 10 Questions can be found here.

Looking at India’s “Deep North” – Part I

Razib has an excellent post with information familiar to India-watchers: India is very diverse. In particular, it has a South which does well on levels of human development (and increasingly income as well); while the states in the “BIMARU” North perform abysmally on both economic and human development indicators. These kinds of disparities are frequently […]

Coloured hearing in Williams syndrome

The idea that our genes can affect many of the traits that define us as individuals, including our personality, intelligence, talents and interests is one that some people find hard to accept. That this is the case is very clearly and dramatically demonstrated, however, by a number of genetic conditions, which have characteristic profiles of […]

Y Chromosome IV: Recombination Suppression

Last time we discussed the discovery of “evolutionary strata” on the human X chromosome – there are distinct blocks on the X that stopped recombining with their Y-homologs at different times causing the Y chromosome’s genes to appear scrambled in order. How can this happen?

Submitting your own links to GNXP

I’ve decided to add a “user generated content” component to this weblog. The links submitted by users will now be at the top left. If you read this weblog, you know the stuff that readers (you) might find of interest. The main issue is getting to where you can submit the links.  First, initially I’ve […]

Why is Israel So Poor?

File this one under the list of “infrequently-asked questions.” This is an issue I’ve discussed extensively over at TGGP’s blog. Basically, here is the puzzle: Jews are among the most wealthy groups in America, with a median income close to $100,000 a year. Naively, you might expect Israel to be about as wealthy. Isreal is, after […]

The Fame of Price

I haven’t posted here for some time, but Razib’s recent review of a book by Oren Harman about George Price prompted me to read the book, and I think I will have a few things worth saying about Price. Harman’s book itself is a good biography, but is sketchy on the mathematical details of Price’s […]

When to blame your parents, and for what

Studies linking some aspect of parental behaviour with some trait in their offspring are depressingly common in the sociological literature. Though these studies typically only report a correlation between parental behaviour and whatever the trait is in the offspring, the implication, and often the explicit conclusion, is that one causes the other. These kinds of […]

How much of the genome is transcribed? Or, the utility of a good genome browser

Recent genome-wide association studies have identified a large number of non-genic regions associated with disease risk; the standard interpretation of this observation is that these are regions involved in gene regulation. A few years back, though, another possibility was raised: what if there are simply a large number of genes in the human genome that […]

Gene-culture interaction in Koreans and Americans

Genes and culture: OXTR gene influences social behaviour differently in Americans and Koreans. Korean Americans are more like white Americans than Koreans in the pattern of the effect of the allele on behavior.

Google Public Data Explorer

One of the main issues that we as human beings have is that we don’t have a gestalt understanding of social data, and its change over time. Among biologists one of the major recurring problems is the gloominess which is a consequence of the Malthusian mindset (which is understandable because of their professional bias) which […]

Defining developmental disorders through genetics

To many people, the term “autism” suggests a specific disorder – one with characteristic and recognizable symptoms, presumably reflecting the same underlying cause.  In fact, no such disorder exists.  Autism refers to a variable spectrum of symptoms – including deficits in social interaction, impaired communication (especially a delay in developing language), narrow, restricted interests and […]

Y Chromosome III: Evolutionary Strata!

Last time we discussed the composition of the human Y chromosome. Today we will examine one of the classes described by Skaletsky et al. (2003), the X-degenerate class, in more detail. The primary model for Y-chromosome degeneration is a decrease in X-Y recombination. Because and X and Y chromosomes are not kept the same by […]

Genetic Components and Cultural Differences: The social sensitivity hypothesis

Cultural differences are often attributed to events far removed from genetics. The basis for this belief is often based on the assertion that if you take an individual, at birth, from one society and implant them in another, then they will generally grow up to become well-adjusted to their adopted culture. Whilst this is more […]

Genome-wide association studies work

A few months ago, I mentioned an article in Cell arguing that many results of genome-wide association studies are false positives. This is obviously wrong, and this week, a pair of letters to the editor (including one by Kai Wang summarizing arguments he made in various comment threads here and elsewhere) take the authors to […]

Y Chromosome II: What Is Its Structure?

Hi all! My name is Kele Cable and I’m an undergrad majoring in biology. I recently started my own science blog and Razib has offered me the opportunity to cross-post here. I am currently writing a blog series that focuses on the topic of the Y chromsome (on which I wrote a paper this last […]