Gene Expression

Archives for July, 2008

Drugs & science & insight

I posted before on Why scientists should do drugs (if they choose), via Tyler Cowen, a Jonah Lehrer article in The New Yorker: Many stimulants, like caffeine, Adderall, and Ritalin, are taken to increase focus — one recent poll found that nearly twenty percent of scientists and researchers regularly took prescription drugs to “enhance concentration”…

Populism & public religion

Half Sigma points me to The Legend of a Heretic, which chronicles the close relationship between Robert G. Ingersoll, a prominent American agnostic of the 19th century, and the Republican Party elite of that time. It seems ironic that though we are a nation which explicitly bans formal religious tests, we live at a time…

The Dark Knight

I didn’t watch The Dark Knight this weekend. Anyone else out there?

John Hawks gets tenure!

How to blog, get tenure and prosper: Starting the blog. ‘nuf said.

Why does race matter for women?

One social science finding which I’ve wondered about over the past few years is the result that women care much more about the race of a potential mate than men do. The fact that individuals tend to want to mate assortatively with those who share their characteristics is no surprise. Rather, what does surprise are…

Over the past few days I’ve blogged a bit about the story about an HIV susceptibility allele; Evolution, a reason for the African HIV epidemic?, Overplaying “AIDS genes” and HIV susceptibility, a “black” thing, not a Duffy thing?. But there’s an important post Genetic Future, Duffy-HIV association: an odd choice of ancestry markers: In the…

Just a quick follow up to my post about genetic screening of embryos and subsequent implantation. The spontaneous abortion rate for humans is very high. Probably on the order of 50% of fertilized ova implant and complete to term. I’ve seen numbers all over the place. In any case, I assume many of these are…

DARC and HIV: a false positive due to population structure?: The authors are aware of this potential confounder, and develop a measure of admixture based on 11 SNPs to include as a covariate in their regression. However, this measure is kind of weak, which I imagine in the sticking point for the skeptics in the…

The Perfect BabyTM

Genetic Future points me to a Nature News story, Making babies: the next 30 years. He highlights this section: There’s speculation that people will have designer babies, but I don’t think the data are there to support that. The spectre of people wanting the perfect child is based on a false premise. No single gene…

R. A. Fisher and Epistasis

David takes a slight detour in this Sewall Wright, series, R. A. Fisher and Epistasis: My next note on Sewall Wright will cover the exciting subject of the adaptive landscape. As every schoolboy knows, Wright considered epistatic gene interactions very important in determining the ‘peaks’ of the landscape. A sharp contrast is sometimes drawn between…