Gene Expression

Archives for September, 2009

Why ligers are huge

Believe it or not, tigers are not the largest big cat. Ligers are (you might remember ligers from Napoleon Dynamite). Why? It has to do with the weirdness that occurs when you hybridize across two lineages which have been distinctive for millions of years, but not so long so as not to be able to…

I took the Fst values from Reconstructing Indian population history, and decided to plot them in different ways. Remember that Fst measures the proportion of between population variance, the variation which can’t be accounted for by the normal variation you’d find within a population. So it’s a rough measure of genetic distance. I’ve removed the…

The politics of Indian science

A geologist, Suvrat Kher, has a very good post on the recent paper on Indian genetics. He concludes: The Indian Press has made a hash of the finding. For example they have only reported those parts of the study that deal with the kinship among Indians and have stressed that castes and tribes cannot be…

My post below elicited a lot of response. One thing to point out though, which I want to emphasize: a higher proportion of smart people go to college now than in the past. How can this be? First, let’s review the change in distributions of intelligence of those with college degrees (or higher) and those…

Altruism & the apes

Eric Michael Johnson of Primate Diaries has a piece up for Seed, where he reviews Franz De Waal’s newest book, The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society. Also a post, Misunderstanding Dawkins: The Role of Metaphor in Science is worth a read. I’ll respond to Michael at some point in the near…

Same glasses edition

John Hawks & I did a diavlog for Science Saturday. We decided it would be appropriate to synchronize with dark-rimmed glasses. Also, Mr. Parrot kind of decided it was an opportune time to make a huge racket by swinging his perch against the cage repeatedly. Just so you know…. (I put it below the fold…

Katz

The politics of genetic history in India

A reader pointed me to an article, Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth: Study. Some of the authors of the paper I reviewed today (actually, I wrote the post yesterday and put it in schedule) had some interesting things to say: The great Indian divide along north-south lines now stands blurred. A pathbreaking study by Harvard and…

Lie, lie, lie, keep lying

Mugabe denies blame for Zimbabwe woes. I recall listening to a debate recently via Planet Money on reforming the banking system. A lobbyist for the big banks made the case that our principles of free enterprise, initiative and and flexibility, letting the market work, meant that the government couldn’t and shouldn’t regulate the banks more…