Archive for September, 2010

Should you go to an Ivy League School?

Mark Palko at the excellent blog Observational Epidemiology has a post arguing that the appeal of Ivy League degrees is primarily peer effects and selection. It’s popular these days to sneer at the Ivys. For instance, this WSJ article argues that State schools have an edge in business recruitment. Still, it’s worth looking at the […]

Cities of plague

I noticed this entry on Time‘s Healthland blog, Study: City Life Spreads Disease, But If It Doesn’t Kill You…. The author ends kind of strangely: The authors of the study expressed excitement about the merging of scientific analysis and historical records, but this is also a potential limitation. Scientific and historical conclusions are different in […]

Genetic Anchoring, Tone and Stable Characteristics of Language

In 2007, Dan Dediu and Bob Ladd published a paper claiming there was a non-spurious link between the non-derived alleles of ASPM and Microcephalin and tonal languages. The key idea emerging from this research is one where certain alleles may bias language acquisition or processing, subsequently shaping the development of a language within a population […]

Price’s Second Equation

In a previous post I discussed what I called Price’s First Equation, as contained in George Price’s 1970 paper ‘Selection and covariance’. The present post deals with the 1972 paper ‘Extension of covariance selection mathematics’ (so far as I know, not currently available free online.) The main result of the 1972 paper is often known […]

Ancient origins of the cerebral cortex

Just how special is the human brain? Compared to other mammals, the thing that stands out most is the size of the cerebral cortex – the thick sheet of cells on the outside of the brain, which is so expanded in humans that it has to be folded in on itself in order to fit […]

Wild-type humans

Wild-type is the term geneticists use to refer to non-mutants. It literally means organisms that are the same, genetically, as those in the wild, compared to ones that have been grown under coddled conditions in the lab for generations, going soft in the absence of natural selection, or that are specifically mutant at some gene […]

Price’s First Equation

In a recent post I said I would write again about the work of George Price. My main aim will be to help people read Price’s own papers. There are various ‘Price guides’ in existence, some of which are very good in their way, but I have not seen any that follow Price’s own treatment […]