Gene Expression

Archives for December, 2006

Genetic Evidence for the Convergent Evolution of Light Skin in Europeans and East Asians: …these results point to the importance of several genes in shaping the pigmentation phenotype and a complex evolutionary history involving strong selection. Polymorphisms in two genes, ASIP and OCA2, may play a shared role in shaping light and dark pigmentation across…

Kat

The reality of epistasis

Earlier this week I sketched out the general theoretical basis for not denying unexpected deviations from expectation, so to speak, when it comes to quantitatve traits. The main issue is that varying genetic backgrounds leave unaccounted for gene-gene interactions, and so our predictions when two populations are crossed maybe confounded (within a population ceteris paribus…

Evolutionary genetics going down

Life has been occupying me, why, between good wine (I prefer mild Chardonnay), work, books and beautiful women who detest science fiction I haven’t been able to resume my survey of Evolutionary Genetics: Concepts & Case Studies. Nevertheless, I’d like to point you to Jason Rosenhouse’s Evolution Blog which has been putting the Science in…

Yahoo Mail “Beta” sucks

I work on two machines in the mid-to-high 2 Ghz range with 1 gig of RAM on a regular basis. And yet the new YAHOO MAIL “Beta” has consistently crashed and throttled Firefox multiple times within the last few days. If your AJAX app does this you’re worse than Microsoft. Client: Is my app Web…

Dawkins & theological sophistication

John Lynch has a post up about Richard Dawkins’ lack of theological sophistication in The God Delusion. John is basically reiterating the point that Dawkins did not truly engage theological arguments for theism on a very high or sophisticated level. In fact, John levels the implicit charge that Dawkins’ engagement of theology mirrors the level…

More complex than simple addition

A few months ago I posted Discrete continuity in genetics to show how the granular nature of genetic inheritance may still manifest to our perception as continuous variation (i.e., quantitative traits). I used skin color as a model trait because it is easy to relate to, and we are beginning to understand its genetics in…

The season needs no reason

Below I spoke of historical perspective, while earlier I referred to Christmas as “universal pagan wine poured into a particular Christian chalice.” I thought I might elaborate upon this. First, the cultural and historical origins of Christmas are multi-textured. Though Christians assert “Jesus is the reason for the season,” a more precise formulation might be…

Historical perspective

I’m reading The Fall of the Roman Empire by Peter Heather. Most people know I’m a classical history buff (e.g., I’ve read a fair number of the late Michael Grant’s works). Now, one thing that always strikes is this: 2,000 years ago a political organization existed which stretched from Scotland to Iraq, from Hungary to…

And a Merry Christmas to you!

Steinn SigurĂ°sson has an has an amusing post up about his multicultural Christmas. Here is the “American Infidel,” Robert Ingersoll, on Christmas (1892): This is the festival of the sun-god, and as such let its observance be universal. This is the great day of the first religion, the mother of all religions — the worship…