Brain-building Protein Identified


“A protein that’s key to determining the developing brain’s size and shape could be used to manipulate stem cells to rebuild the organ in adults.”

“Underscoring the protein’s impact, over-expressing it in rats gave them enlarged brains with grooves and furrows similar to those in evolved mammalian brains.”

Posted by fly at 06:59 AM

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Colon Cancer is a Socially Constructed Disease

We’ve all been witness to the canard that “Race is Socially Constructed” on countless occasions. In fact, some professional organizations go so far as to have official policies on this issue:

“The concept of race is a social and cultural construction. . . . Race simply cannot be tested or proven scientifically,” according to a policy statement by the American Anthropological Association.

[ . . . . . ]

Despite this, many Americans still believe in three great racial groups, a system developed in Europe and North America in the 18th century.

Yeah, who are you going to believe, the American Anthropological Association or your own lying eyes?

“We don’t even come close to having enough genetic diversity for races, or subspecies — not close,” said Robert Sussman, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis and editor of a newsletter of the anthropological association that has taken on race and racism as its yearlong theme.

“It’s hard to get across,” said Sussman. “The best audience to try to get to is probably high school and young college students. But even they are steeped in American folklore, and the folklore is that races really exist.”

Wasn’t it always so . . . the idealism, and naivete, of youth can so easily be swayed in service to outlandish schemes and philosophies.

One reason race is a myth, the great majority of anthropologists agree, is that there has not been enough time for much difference to build up between human beings.

By most measures, modern humans arose in Africa less than 200,000 years ago, a short time by evolutionary time scales. And the migration out of Africa by the ancestors of today’s Europeans, Asians, and North and South Americans took place less than 100,000 years ago.

Environmental pressure produced different physical appearances, including slightly different physiques, and Africa has the most human genetic diversity of any continent.

Well, if that’s really so then we should be embarking on a whole new series of investigations, first to purge the damn racists from the medical establishment for issuing reports that encourage members of mythical groups to seek early cancer tests:

African Americans should be screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 45 — five years earlier than other people, according to new guidelines issued by the American College of Gastroenterology.

The advice is in response to previous findings that African Americans have earlier onset of the disease and higher incidence and mortality rates than whites.

[ . . . . . ]

African Americans tend to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a younger age than whites. The study cited a 2001 study that found that 10.6 percent of African Americans with colorectal cancer were diagnosed before age 50, compared with 5.5 percent of whites.

Post-diagnosis survival rates are also lower for African Americans. From 1992 to 1999 African Americans with colorectal cancer had a 53 percent five-year survival rate, compared with a 63 percent survival rate in whites, according to the report.

After we finish the purge of heretics we need to put in place a whole new research regime to determine what racist environmental variable(s) lead to differential colon cancer rates that statistically target members who belong to a mythical group. While we’re at it, these researchers may want to investigate how a claim that contradicts the position that racial differences are only skin deep found its way into press reports:

Until relatively recently, groups of people lived far apart. That isolation encouraged certain genetic traits, not just external traits such as a particular skin color, but also internal traits, like cellular function. Now, genetic medicine is revealing just how much these internal traits can vary from group to group.

Of course, the more parsimonious explanation would be that the American Anthropological Association is purposely blinding itself in furtherance of allegiance to ideology and that their Sisyphean struggle to convince the public is all for naught.

Related: Can H-BD Aware Doctors Save Lives?

Posted by TangoMan at 01:01 PM

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Neets News

The Neets phenomenon (see my post below) seems to be catching on.

Today’s London Daily Mirror has a follow-up to the Sunday Times article here.

More surprisingly, the same phenomenon is causing concern in Japan, of all places – see this article.

But I guess that both the nature and the scale of the problem are different from in Britain.


This Guardian article from last year is mainly about Japanese Neets. Not much in common with the British phenomenon.

Posted by David B at 02:30 AM

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We'll all be beautiful

This is a joke page, right?

Beginning last November, the city of San Francisco began a program whereupon clinically obese men between the ages of 18 and 55 could undergo a procedure whereupon approximately 1/2 an inch is removed from each vas and the ends are sealed – commonly referred to as a vasectomy – completely free of charge. The overwhelming turnout led the State of California to follow suit, and now California is the first state in the Union to offer state-funded vasectomies to men who have been diagnosed as obese.

Well this makes sense. Eugenics won’t be pushed to make us smarter. Or stronger. But we will have eugenics to make us beautiful.

This has got to be the plot of a Philip K. Dick novel or something.

UPDATE This IS a joke page. And joke journal in fact. There’s got to be some potential in that, I think.

Posted by Thrasymachus at 07:18 AM

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Inter-ethnic marriage in Britain

In a recent post on educational performance by ethnic groups in the UK I mentioned some research on inter-ethnic marriage by Raya Muttarak of Oxford. She has made at least two studies on the subject: (1) Who Intermarries in Britain? and (2) Marital Assimilation: Ethnic Intermarriage in Britain.

The second study has more recent data and is more useful for comparisons over time, but the first paper has fuller theoretical discussion….


The data sources are mainly government surveys. An official guide to the ethnic classifications used, and the data sources, is available here.

One point to note is that ’Asian’ usually means ’South Asian’. Chinese people are classified separately, and the term ’Asian’ often excludes Chinese.

The 2001 Census for the first time introduced some ’Mixed’ ethnicity categories: White and Black Caribbean, White and Black African, White and Asian, and Other Mixed. There is no separate category for ‘White and Chinese’. It appears to be the intention that they should be included under ’Other Mixed’, and notes on education statistics make this explicit. However, the 2001 Census form gives no guidance on this point, and faced with a choice between ’White-Asian’ and ’Other Mixed’, White-Chinese people might well put themselves under ’White-Asian’.


The propensity of different groups to intermarry is affected by their numbers in the population. Here are population figures (both sexes, all ages) for England and Wales from the 2001 Census:

_Other Black_____0.10_______0.2
_Other Asian_____0.24_______0.5
_Other Mixed_____0.16_______0.3
*includes Latin American, etc.

The Census includes questions about the relationship between members of the household. It is therefore possible to extract, e.g., the number of White-Asian marriages. Since the Census covers only those present in the household on Census Day, the information is not complete, but it is unlikely to be seriously biased with respect to the proportion of inter-ethnic marriages. The Office for National Statistics has just released some data on inter-ethnic marriage from the 2001 Census. The following are the proportions, in rank order, of each ethnic group who are married to someone of another ethnic group (nearly always White):

Mixed______ 78
Other Black__38
Black Carib__24
Black Afric___15

This might suggest that Whites have a low propensity to marry other ethnic groups, but after taking account of relative population sizes, 2% is actually a high proportion (about 20%) of the maximum possible intermarriage rate for Whites.

These figures may be compared with those of Muttarak (2) taken from different sources (the Labour Force Survey, which is mainly concerned with employment and training issues, but also contains a lot of demographic data). The figures are not directly comparable with the Census data, since they include cohabiting as well as married couples. I have averaged the figures for both sexes.

Black Carib__16_________29
Black Afric___18_________11

In most of the non-White groups the proportion of men intermarrying is higher than that of women, the exceptions being the Chinese, where twice as many women as men intermarry, and Indians, where in 2002-3 there was a slightly higher rate for women than for men.


It will be seen that for Black Caribbeans and Chinese the proportion intermarrying has increased since 1981. For Indians it has increased very slightly, with a fall in the rate for men offset by a larger rise in the rate for women. Among Pakistanis and Bangladeshis there has also been a fall among men and a rise among women, with the net effect a fall. Among Black Africans the rate among both men and women has fallen.

Muttarak’s research shows that in all groups those born in the UK have a higher intermarriage rate than first-generation immigrants, so it may seem paradoxical that in some groups the intermarriage rate has fallen between 1981 and 2002-3. The explanation is that in some groups continuing immigration has offset the rise among the second (or later) generation. As I have mentioned in other posts, there has been a large recent increase in immigration of Black Africans, including many Muslim Somalis. Muttarak (page 21 of (2)) discusses this.

The reasons for the fall among Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are less obvious, and Muttarak’s discussion is rather weak. I suspect that it has become easier for spouses from arranged marriages to be ’imported’ in the last 20 years, due both to better transport and communications and to changes in the immigration rules. There may also be increased religious and family pressures on Muslims to marry within the group. I note that among Pakistanis second generation women are even less likely to intermarry than in the first generation, contrasting with all other groups in this respect. I suspect also that the earliest immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh were mainly men, and had a higher intermarriage rate for lack of alternatives. This early cohort may now be dying off (or their marriages may have broken up.)

For the long term, it seems likely that the Chinese and Caribbean groups will become entirely assimilated into the mainstream population. For second-generation Chinese the intermarriage rates are especially high, at around 70%.

It is impossible to predict the future of the Black African group, as it is so diverse and for the most part so recently arrived.

The future of the South Asian groups is unclear. For second generation Indians the intermarriage rate is around 14%, which is not high enough to presage total assimilation in the foreseeable future. But the rate may accelerate in the third generation, when family pressures to marry within the group will probably be weaker.

There is little sign of the Pakistani group disappearing by assimilation. Surprisingly, there may be a greater prospect of assimilation in the Bangladeshi group. Despite their very low overall intermarriage rate, the rate for second generationers is quite high, at over 10% for both men and women. Indeed it is higher for women than for men, and almost as high as for Indian second generation women. I have commented elsewhere on the marked improvement in educational performance among Bangladeshis in the UK, which is another factor promoting assimilation.

Characteristics of intermarrying partners

The main aim of Muttarak’s two papers is to analyse the characteristics of individuals who marry people of another ethnic group. Anyone who is interested in the subject should read the papers, but to summarise:

For ethnic minorities characteristics associated with a high rate of intermarriage include:

a) being born in Britain rather than abroad, i.e. being second or later gener
ation immigrants

b) fluency in English

c) being well-educated, in particular having a university degree or equivalent qualification

d) absence of religious affiliation

e) living in an area with a low density of ethnic minorities.

These apply to both sexes and most ethnic groups. However, Muttarak (2) notes that for Black Caribbeans having a higher education qualification makes little or no difference to the propensity to intermarry, or is even a negative factor. She suggests (p.26) that this is because Black Caribbeans are integrated into the white working-class community. The same appears to be true for second-generation Black Africans.

So far as Whites are concerned, the factors favouring intermarriage are much the same, except that in this case being born outside Britain is positively associated with intermarriage.

Muttarak’s analysis does not cover the effect of belonging to particular religions, as distinct from the effect of absence of religion. However, she notes (page 11, paper (2)) that the recent LFS surveys have included questions on religious affiliation, and she intends to include this variable in the analysis once data become publicly available. It may be difficult to distinguish the effects of religion from ethnicity as such, since most ethnic groups are nearly mono-religious. However, the Indian group may provide sufficient diversity (Hindu, Muslim, Sikh) for a meaningful analysis.

There is nothing very surprising in these results, though the second-generation intermarriage rates for Asians are rather higher than I had expected. It will be interesting to see whether the widely-reported rise of religious devotion among young Muslims has any effect on the trend.

Posted by David B at 04:01 AM

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I call hypocrite

via Sepia Mutiny

Ted Rall’s latest cartoon imagines a Zoroastrian United States without separation of church and state.

What Mr. Rall leaves out of his cartoon is that the ancestral homeland of the Zoroastrians is currently under the rule of a regime repelled by the notion of separating church and state. The ancestral homeland of the Zoroastrians was invaded and the Zoroastrians subject to a campaign of ethnic cleansing by their conquerors such that the true heirs of one of the great civilizations of the ancient world may die out by the end of the twenty-first century.

Mr. Rall, of course, casts his lot with that genocide’s perpatrators and beneficiaries.

Apparently murderous hatred of Westerners, especially Americans, gives you carte blanche for murderous hatred of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and, yes, Zoroastrians.

Stupid white man indeed.

See also this.

Posted by jeet at 09:37 PM

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Whipping Therapy Cures Depression

You may think that this is a parody piece from the Onion, but if you did you’d be wrong. Pravda reports on a sensational report made an international conference devoted to new methods of treatment and rehabilitation in narcology. The report was called “Methods of Painful Impact to Treat Addictive Behavior.”

Siberian scientists believe that addiction to alcohol and narcotics, as well as depression, suicidal thoughts and psychosomatic diseases occur when an individual loses his or her interest in life. The absence of the will to live is caused with decreasing production of endorphins – the substance, which is known as the hormone of happiness. If a depressed individual receives a physical punishment, whipping that is, it will stir up endorphin receptors, activate the “production of happiness” and eventually remove depressive feelings.

Russian scientists recommend the following course of the whipping therapy: 30 sessions of 60 whips on the buttocks in every procedure. A group of drug addicts volunteered to test the new method of treatment: the results can be described as good and excellent.

Doctor of Biological Sciences, Sergei Speransky, is a very well known figure in Novosibirsk. The doctor became one of the authors of the shocking whipping therapy. The professor used the self-flagellation method to cure his own depression; he also recovered from two heart attacks with the help of physical tortures too.

“The whipping therapy becomes much more efficient when a patients receives the punishment from a person of the opposite sex. The effect is astounding: the patient starts seeing only bright colors in the surrounding world, the heartache disappears, although it will take a certain time for the buttocks to heal, of course,” Sergei Speransky told the Izvestia newspaper.

The whipping therapy has not become a new discovery in the history of medicine. Tibetan monks widely used it for medical purposes too. Soviet specialists used a special method of torturing therapy at mental hospitals. They made injections of brimstone and peach oil mixture to inspire mentally unbalanced patience with a will to live. A patient would suffer from horrible pain in the body after such an injection, but he or she would change their attitude to life for the better afterwards.

“People might probably think of me as a masochist,” Dr. Speransky said. “But I can assure you that I am not a classic masochist at all,” he added.

The revolutionary method may take the Russian healthcare to a whole new level. The method is cheap and highly efficient, as its authors assure. Why not using something more efficient, a rack, for example?

I could end this off with a whole bunch of witty quips but I’d much prefer to read what you can come up with. Make your own jokes in comments.

Posted by TangoMan at 08:07 PM

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