Gene Expression

Archives for May, 2009

Kambiz of Anthropology.net is back. His first offering reports on a new paper on the evidence for leprosy in India 4,000 years ago. …Lots of hallmarks in human existence occurred during this time period, some being inventions in system of writing, standardized weights and measures, monumental architecture, and trade networks that stretched to Mesopotamia and…

In light of my post on politics and personal perspective yesterday, I thought this “exchange” between Mark Levin and Conor Friedersdorf would be of note. Also see Rod Dreher on the controversy. In any case, here you have a case where the principals agree on the broad political issues at stake, and many of the…

On this week’s Science Saturday John Horgan interviews Richard Wrangham. The second half of the conversation focuses on Wrangham’s new book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. I’ve heard pieces of the arguments mooted in the back & forth before, but it looks like in this book they’re all brought together. Humans are a…

The Onion presents an interesting spin on the financial retrenchment that’s in vogue right now. I do wonder it’s really the best for the real estate sector, as it seems like it would reduce aggregate demand for rental units. Also, note the shout out to Robert Ingersoll.

Brian Switek of Laelaps has an op-ed in on Ida. Here’s the conclusion: What could have been a unique opportunity to communicate science has quickly developed into a fiasco. Science proceeds through discovery and debate, and hypotheses do not become accepted by flooding the media with press releases. Scientific scrutiny of Ida has only just…

Staring at “freaks”

Why We Stare, Even When We Don’t Want To: “When a face is distorted, we have no pattern to match that,” Rosenberg said. “All primates show this [staring] at something very different, something they have not evolved to see. They need to investigate further. ‘Are they one of us or not?’ In other species, when…

MHC & mating

Dienekes points me to new research on MHC and mating: The scientists studied MHC data from 90 married couples, and compared them with 152 randomly-generated control couples. They counted the number of MHC dissimilarities among those who were real couples, and compared them with those in the randomly-generated ‘virtual couples’. “If MHC genes did not…

The Neurocritic points me to a paper, The brain structural disposition to social interaction: Social reward dependence (RD) in humans is a stable pattern of attitudes and behaviour hypothesized to represent a favourable disposition towards social relationships and attachment as a personality dimension. It has been theorized that this long-term disposition to openness is linked…

Categorizing ideas & humans

Andrew Gelman has a post up titled Difficulties in trying to understand the views of others, responding to a Robin Hanson taxonomy outline the motivations of liberals, conservatives and libertarians. Gelman is skeptical of Hanson’s glosses of each group. The human ability to engage in Meta-Representation is one of the hallmarks of our species. We…

Links of note

A quick note. Two new ScienceBlogs: Christina’s LIS Rant & Confessions of a Science Librarian. Also, Afarensis, John Lynch and John Wilkins have new locations.