Archive for November, 2011

Why Eurasians aren’t very pale

A few years ago I wondered offhand why Eurasians weren’t very pale, since East Asians and Europeans developed light skin at different loci over the past few tens of thousands of years. In hindsight the answer seems pretty obvious. I realized the solution when looking at the skin pigmentation loci in my parents’ genotypes. They’re […]

What is a gene “for”?

“Scientists discover gene for autism” (or ovarian cancer, or depression, cocaine addiction, obesity, happiness, height, schizophrenia… and whatever you’re having yourself). These are typical newspaper headlines (all from the last year) and all use the popular shorthand of “a gene for” something. In my view, this phrase is both lazy and deeply misleading and has […]

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