Archives for March 12, 2009

We got a new sheriff in town….

And his name is Charley Brown. Chapter one of a novel set in bustling Pembina North Dakota is here, at Quiche Moraine.

The following post has been slightly revised in response to commentary below and elsewhere. I thank all those who commented for the helpful critique. The question of diversity in science, and more specifically, success for women, is often discussed in relation to bench or lab oriented fields. If you read the blogs that cover this…

Franken People!

Yes, it is the Mendel’s Garden Frankenpeople edition, at Biofortified. This is a web carnival all about genetics and stuff. Enjoy it here.

The Origin of the Human Smile

A colleague and grad student of mine, Rob, just sent me the following question, slightly edited here: A student in my intro class asked me a good question the other day to which I had no answer. When did smiling cease to be a threat gesture? I have a couple of ideas. One is that…

Update on Technology Chief vs. FBI

The FBI “raided” the Washington DC (city) office of Vivek Kundra, who is just finishing his term as Chief of Technology for the district. Kundra had been asked to to to the Federal Government to be the federal chief information officer. Later in the day, the FBI agents arrested two people, a DC worker, Yusef…

There is new information from an older idea (from about 2000) by Paul Sherman and colleagues. The idea underlying this research is simple: Symptoms of illnesses may be adaptive. Indeed, this may be true to the extent that we should not call certain things illnesses. Like “morning sickness.” Broadly speaking, there are two different kinds…

The Evolution of Imprinting

The phrase “genomic imprinting” has come to refer the turning off of a gene (a particular instance of a gene on a particular chromosome duplicated across the cells in a body) so that the gene is not expressed at all, with the turning off of the gene not caused in the body in question, but…

Federal agents this morning are searching the Judiciary Square office of Washington, D.C.’s Chief Technology Officer. The search is part of “an ongoing investigation,” said a spokeswoman for the FBI’s D.C. Field Office, Lindsay Gotwin, said. She declined to comment further. The outgoing Chief Technology Officer, Vivek Kundra, was appointed last week Chief Information Officer…

It has long been known that incest is not as bad as you think. Anti-cousin marriage laws are like prohibition laws and blue laws. They arise from a Christian conservative movement that swept Western Civilization from the late 18th century through the 19th century, up to about the time of the repeal of Prohibition. Sure,…