Gene Expression

Archives for February, 2009

Moron is as moron does; the dumb money

Daniel Gross of Slate has a piece up, Dumb Money: The villains of the financial catastrophe aren’t criminals. They’re morons. I just love the use of the term “morons.” As Gross notes though there was plenty of g to go around, but that didn’t prevent moronic behavior. But, I do think it is worth considering…

New method to detect Down Syndrome

New Safety, New Concerns In Tests for Down Syndrome: The new tests take advantage of techniques that can isolate and analyze tiny bits of genetic information from the fetus that circulate in a woman’s bloodstream, in this case from cells or free-floating snippets of DNA or the related molecule RNA. At least four companies are…

Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: The median serum 25(OH)D level was 29 ng/mL…and 19%…of participants reported a recent URTI [recent respiratory tract infections]. Recent URTI was reported by 24% of participants with 25(OH)D levels less than 10 ng/mL, by 20%…

Complex traits and evolution

Wings, Horns, and Butterfly Eyespots: How Do Complex Traits Evolve?: Complex traits require co-ordinated expression of many transcription factors and signaling pathways to guide their development. Creating a developmental program de novo would involve linking many genes one-by-one, requiring each mutation to drift into fixation, or to confer some selective advantage at every intermediate step…

Kindle Cool

The Kindle: Good Before, Better Now. A woman was using a Kindle at Starbucks the other day. She really didn’t get much reading done, people kept wanting to talk to her about her Kindle, and look at it themselves. The Kindle will have made it when people can actually use it in a public place…

The function that f**ked the world?

Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street: In hindsight, ignoring those warnings looks foolhardy. But at the time, it was easy. Banks dismissed them, partly because the managers empowered to apply the brakes didn’t understand the arguments between various arms of the quant universe. Besides, they were making too much money to stop.…

Aryan twins in Brazil

Mystery of the ‘Land of Twins’: Something in the Water? Mengele?: There was no evidence of the use of contraceptives or fertility drugs among the women, nor of any genetic mixing with people of African origin, who have higher twinning rates than caucasians, Dr. Matte said. But the rate of identical twins here, at 47…

fMRI is voodoo?

Seed Magazine has a nice review of the brewing controversy over shoddy statistical methods in the field of fMRI. To some extent science is politics, this is a sexy and appealing field. A friend of mine who is a psychologist mentioned that though he doesn’t think much of fMRI the head of his lab group…

Reader Survey Results, day 1

Since I asked regular readers to fill out a survey, I’ve received over 300 responses. My own experience with these surveys is that about 50% of the total responses come within 24 hours. Next weekend I’ll put up the .csv file with all the data, and present some of my analyses as well. But below…

The original Hitler cat

Obit Magazine has a fascinating rumination on the life & times of Socks Currie-Clinton: One of the most telling political photographs of the past few decades is a snapshot of a cat. Against an unassuming suburban backdrop, the picture shows a black-and-white feline crouched on a sidewalk while an equipment-laden quintet of photographers close in.…