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2014: A bleak year for science?

What's the old saying, you neighbor loses his job and its a recession, but you lose your job, and its a depression.  Well the shoe finally dropped for one of my friends and he was put on notice that his job disappears as of January 1st.  Sadly for him there was no advance notice that […]

Is that white supremacist part black?

Many of you probably know about Dave Chappelle’s black white supremacist sketch (NSFW video!), though fewer are aware of Leo Felton, a white supremacist (ex, after he was outed) with a black father (a less tragic outcome than Dan Burros, the Jewish American Nazi). Show More Summary

The four million odyssey of the horse

The horse is a beautiful animal. That is not a trivial matter, but there is the added fact that  historically it is has been of great consequence. Obviously the rise of horses as vehicles of war is preeminent in our minds, but on a more prosaic level draft horses revolutionized many societies via their effect [...]

What is the Zeitgeist?

Here is today’s zeitgeist, by which I mean the working assumptions made by top scientists, politicians, academics and journalists, as they do their jobs, every day: Free will is an illusion. The interests, passions, motivations, obsessions, fears and desires that...

High likelihood that my daughter does not have an autosomal dominant condition

After my previous post my wife started doing research online. The autosomal dominant condition that I have is almost certainly localized to one particular chromosome (there is a large effect QTL there that is strongly associated with my condition). Additionally, I inherit this condition from my mother. My daughter has her whole pedigree genotyped, thanks [...]

What is the good life?

Now that I have a daughter I do reflect a bit more on what the purpose of my life is, because at some point I want to talk to her about the purpose of her life. There is a little bit of irony in this insofar as now she is a primary purpose of my [...]

Fantasy Football: The End of the Road

So its time to announce the regular season and playoff winners for the Fantasy Football Challenge. Regular Season: 1.  Bashir (has dethroned PLS for the first time!) 2.  Odyssey 3.  Chall Playoffs: 1.  Odyssey 2.  Chall (just lost the tie breaker) 3.  Bashir Congrats to everyone.  It was fun.  And as we end on this [...]

Mitochondrial Eve: a de facto deception?

The above image, and the one to the left, are screenshots from my father’s 23andMe profile. Interestingly, his mtDNA haplogroup is not particularly common among ethnic Bengalis, who are more than ~80% on a branch of M. This reality is evident in the map above which illustrates the Central Asian distribution my father’s mtDNA lineage. [...]

The Hobbit, part 1

I went and saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey yesterday. It’s been 20 years since I last read The Hobbit, and even longer since I saw the television film from the late 1970s. So I really didn’t notice all the differences between the three hour film and the original novel. Two quick comments: 1) I [...]

Don’t wait to have older children!

The New Republic has a piece up, How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society, which won’t have surprising data for readers of this weblog. But it’s nice to see this sort of thing go “mainstream.” My daughter was born when her parents were in their mid-30s, so I know all the statistics. They aren’t good [...]

Did The FDA’s Jeffrey Shuren Mislead A Congressional Hearing?

A video posted yesterday on FDABlog appears to show Jeffrey Shuren, Director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, providing misleading information to a 2010 Congressional hearing into the direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing industry. The timing of the...

Plug And Play For DNA

In the fast-paced world of DNA sequencing technology, Oxford Nanopore Technologies provides a touch of tasteful British reserve in a sea of Californian brashness. While the likes of Pacific Biosciences have wowed the crowds – and brought in the cash,...

Guest Post: Introduction to Nanopore Sequencing

[Advances in DNA sequencing are crucial for the future of personal genomics, and approaches based on nanopores - tiny holes in a solid matrix, which can detect molecules passing through them - are a particularly promising area of innovation. You'll...

I need a Cure for a song stuck in my head...

The Cure came on the radio this morning and I can't get this song out of my head.  Damn you.  Have a great Friday and an awesome weekend.    

Last Call for Football...

Let me know if you want to play fantasy football with us in our annual Scienceblogger league.  NFL games kick off tomorrow night.  

Thanks for the memories

I’m not big into music, being of the aesthetically retarded set, but as I age memory becomes more important, and that is strongly colored by music. The 80s anthems of the Beastie Boys were part of the cultural firmament for me, but at that stage I was more of a Transformers kind of guy at that stage. Show More Summary

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