|Filed Under:||Biology / Genetics|
|Posts on Regator:||2875|
|Posts / Week:||10.5|
|Archived Since:||February 24, 2008|
A few years ago Malcolm Gladwell made the “10,000 hour rule” famous in his book Outliers. In practice (e.g., discussions with people day to day or on this blog) the rule gets translated into the inference “practice is what matters.” When talking about genetics this often implicitly also entails that “genes don’t matter.” I’m not [...]
This is a public service announcement. If you are a consumer of direct-to-consumer personal genomics services, please do not pay any attention to your mtDNA and Y chromosomal haplogroups. Why? Because they hardly tell you anything about your individual ancestry. What do I mean by this? Your mtDNA comes down from your mother’s-mother’s-mother’s-mother… and similarly [...]
I noticed during Peter Ralph and Graham Coop’s Ask Me Anything about their new paper, The Geography of Recent Genetic Ancestry across Europe, someone brought up the effects of plague. Recall that ~1/3 of Europe’s population died during the Black Death. And population size reductions on the order of ~50% due to epidemics are not [...]
A lot’s been happening. The human phylogenetic graph is looking curiouser and curiouser.
My own inclination has been to not get bogged down in the latest race and IQ controversy because I don’t have that much time, and the core readership here is probably not going to get any new information from me, since this is not an area of hot novel research. But that doesn’t mean the [...]
Because of Angelina Jolie’s revelation people are talking about the Myriad Genetics case is in the news again. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up. Because of the patent Myriad can charge thousands of dollars for a test which would otherwise be much cheaper (and putting it out of reach of [...]
A few years ago I predicted to some friends that ancient DNA would transform our understanding of the human past. The reason being that inferences of population movements via material remains were imprecise at best. We are beginning to see my prediction come to fruit (mind you, the prediction was not a bold or courageous [...]
Kevin Mitchell of Wiring the Brain has a very long post up inveighing against the specter of eugenics. I don’t have a great deal of time to engage Kevin right now. But in addition to Kevin’s post I highly recommend this episode of WBUR’s On Point. It has Steve Hsu on, and he articulates many [...]
The usual. I haven’t been able to blog much because of various other responsibilities, but I definitely do feel pent up posting energy. So when I come back I assume that I’ll have a lot of stuff to say. Meanwhile I’m chortling a bit about this bizarre attack on my friend Steve Hsu. Here’s the [...]
(via The Festival of Patience)
The above figure displays results from males in the General Social Survey who answer yes to the proposition that they’ve watched a pornographic film over the past year. This fact was cited in my post Porn, rape, and a ‘natural experiment’, to disabuse people of the notion that porn consumption has increased radically the past [...]
Standard apologies that I have had not the marginal time to blog much, but I thought it was important that I least note that Dr. Peter Ralph and Dr. Graham Coop’s paper on identity-by-descent segments and European populations and history is out in its final form in PLoS Biology, The Geography of Recent Genetic Ancestry [...]
In some quarters it is now “conventional wisdom” that Google Glass is going to seem dorky and laughable at first. But it’s probably just the pre-alpha version of the type of technology which seems inevitable (and is familiar to anyone who has read cyberpunk science fiction).
Last week’s thread was rather informative.
I’ve mentioned before that many (most?) Muslims are Creationists, broadly understood. According to Pew’s Religious Landscape Survey 42 percent of American Muslims accept that evolution is the best explanation for the origin of human life on earth. This is roughly in line with the American public, if a touch on the Creationist side. The numbers [...]
A few years back I was rather fixated on issues of maternal fetal health. In particular I was worried about gestational diabetes in relation to my wife because I come from an ethnic group with an elevated risk for theses sorts of problems, and the effect when you are in mixed-race marriages seems to be [...]
For old time’s sake. The cat’s have a new companion….
I am almost literally one of the last of the generation of young men for whom the quest for pornography was an adventure. One could say that I had the misfortune of my adolescence overlapping almost perfectly with the last few years prior to the ‘pornographic singularity.’ I speak here of the internet, circa 1995 [...]
What’s going on?
No time to comment extensively, but check out The draft genomes of soft-shell turtle and green sea turtle yield insights into the development and evolution of the turtle-specific body plan (open access). The paper and the ScienceDaily press release allude to some phylogenetic confusion as to the relationship of turtles to other reptilian lineages, but [...]