Gene Expression

Archives for January, 2010

Hobbits small brains not so anomolous

Is the Hobbit’s Brain Unfeasibly Small?: Brain expansion began early in primate evolution and has occurred in all major groups, suggesting a strong selective advantage to increased brainpower in most primate lineages. Despite this overall trend, however, Mundy and his colleagues have identified several branches/lineages within each major group that have shown decreasing brain and…

The last Iberian Neandertal

The debates about the timing of the extinction of the last Neandertals in Iberia seem to one of those interminable disagreements around which paleoanthropologists can’t ever reach a resolution. Another offering from PLoS ONE, Pego do Diabo (Loures, Portugal): Dating the Emergence of Anatomical Modernity in Westernmost Eurasia: Methodology/Principal Findings Using AMS radiocarbon and advanced…

Show me the data

Update: Also see p-ter at Gene Expression Classic. Follow up on yesterday’s post on the new Dickson et al. paper from David Goldstein’s lab, A New Way to Look for Diseases’ Genetic Roots: The Icelandic gene-hunting firm deCODE genetics, which emerged last week from bankruptcy, has long led in detecting SNPs associated with common disease.…

The origins of the Yakuts

One of the more substantive consequences of the powerful new genomic techniques has been in the area of ancient DNA extraction and analysis. The Neandertal genome story is arguably the sexiest, but closer to the present day there’ve been plenty of results which have changed the way we look at the past. The input of…

David Goldstein, a geneticist at Duke, has critiqued the current focus on large-scale genomwide associations before. Now he is taking to the next step, as his group has a paper out which suggests that the reason that association studies have been relatively unfruitful in terms of bang-for-buck is due to the fact that they’re picking…

In Bats and Whales, Convergence in Echolocation Ability Runs Deep: …”However, it is generally assumed that most of these so-called convergent traits have arisen by different genes or different mutations. Our study shows that a complex trait — echolocation — has in fact evolved by identical genetic changes in bats and dolphins.” A hearing gene…

Rice, alcohol and genes

Changes in human diet driven by cultural evolution seem to be at the root of many relatively recently emerged patterns of genetic variation. In particular, lactase persistence and varied production of amylase are two well known cases. Both of these new evolutionary genetic developments are responses to the shift toward carbohydrates over the last 10,000…

As a follow up to the previous post, here’s some of the raw data for the ARIS. I sorted by “Nones” for 2008.

The rise of the irreligious Left

Barry Kosmin at CUNY has published the results of three surveys of American religion since 1990. These “American Religious Identification Surveys” (ARIS) were done in 1990, another in 2001, and finally in 2008. One of the major findings of the ARIS has been the rise of those who avow “No Religion”. Looking through the data…

Doberman Pinscher with OCD

In the wake of my post on selection and variation in dog skull shape, I thought it would be useful to point to this short paper, A canine chromosome 7 locus confers compulsive disorder susceptibility. Here’s the conclusion: The highly significant association of CCD with the CDH2 region on chromosome 7 is the first genetic…