Ancient DNA Unravels Europe’s Genetic Diversity – “Ancient DNA recovered from a time series of skeletons in Germany spanning 4,000 years of prehistory has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern-day Europeans. The study, published today in ‘Science’, reveals dramatic population changes with waves of prehistoric migration, not only from the accepted path via the Near East, but also from Western and Eastern Europe.” – orig. research article: Ancient DNA Reveals Key Stages in the Formation of Central European Mitochondrial Genetic Diversity. from dienekes: “Anyone adhering to a ‘pots not people’ paradigm will find difficult to explain the sharp discontinuities found in the genetic record.” – and here’s national geographic’s take on the story – my head’s dizzy from all the spin!: “So, just like parts of Europe today are melting pots from different living cultures across the world, Europe is also a melting pot of genetic lineages from different prehistoric cultures that lived there at different periods of time.” – see also: Stone Age farmers, hunters kept their distance.
Genes Suggest European Women at Root of Ashkenazi Family Tree – “The women who founded the Ashkenazi Jewish community of Europe were not from the Near East, as previously supposed, and reinforces the idea that many Jewish communities outside Israel were founded by single men who married and converted local women.” – see dienekes and greg cochran.
Child Behaviour: Not In Their Genes? – “Using a powerful approach called GCTA, King’s College London researchers Maciej Trzaskowski and colleagues found no evidence that genetics can explain differences in children’s behavioural and conduct difficulties.” – @neuroskeptic.
“Were the First Artists Mostly Women? – “Three-quarters of handprints in ancient cave art were left by women, study finds.” — afaics, there’s no reason to conclude that the individuals who spray painted outlines of their hands (any idiot can do that — I could do that!) were the same individuals who painted the horses and lions, etc. duh. anyway, here’s the interesting bit from the article: “[T]he hands in the caves were much more sexually dimorphic than modern hands, meaning that there was little overlap in the various hand measurements. ‘They fall at the extreme ends, and even beyond the extreme ends,’ Snow said. ‘Twenty thousand years ago, men were men and women were women.’”
Glass always half-empty? Your genes may be to blame – “UBC researcher finds some people are genetically predisposed to seeing things in a negative light. Further research is also planned to explore the gene variant’s occurrence across different ethnic groups. While it is believed more than half of Caucasians have ADRA2b, some studies suggest it is much less prominent in other ethnicities….”
Whites More Prone to Certain Heart Condition Than Other Ethnic Groups – “In a study to be published online October 8 and in the November 12 issue of ‘Circulation’, researchers discovered that self-described non-Hispanic whites are more likely to develop atrial fibrillation than people from other race or ethnic groups. ‘We found that consistently, every other race had a statistically significant lower risk of atrial fibrillation compared to whites…. So this suggests that white race is itself a risk factor for atrial fibrillation.’” – h/t mr. mangan, esq!
Neurons Fire Backward in Sleep – “Unusual brain cell activity may underlie memory streng…” wait. NEURONS FIRE BACKWARD IN SLEEP! cool.
Changes in women’s attractiveness perception of masculine men’s dances across the ovulatory cycle: Preliminary data – “Women’s preferences for putative cues of genetic quality in men’s voices, faces, bodies, and behavioral displays are stronger during the fertile phase of the ovulatory cycle. Here we show that ovulatory cycle-related changes in women’s attractiveness perceptions of male features are also found with dance movements, especially those perceived as highly masculine.”
Similar chimpanzees form friendships – “‘We found that, especially among unrelated friends, the most sociable and bold individuals preferred the company of other highly sociable and bold individuals, whereas shy and less sociable ones spent time with other similarly aloof and shy chimpanzees,’ says the researcher. The researchers argue that such a strong preference for self-like individuals is probably adaptive, because frequent cooperation becomes more reliable when both partners have similar behavioural tendencies and emotional states. This finding strongly resembles the known ‘similarity effect’ in humans: We tend to make friends with people who are equally extraverted, friendly and bold as ourselves.” — same in some birds, too, remember?
All you ever wanted to know about intelligence (but were too bright to ask) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 – from dr. james thompson.
Social Status and Anger Expression: The Cultural Moderation Hypothesis – “Individuals with lower social status have been reported to express more anger, but this evidence comes mostly from Western cultures…. Americans with lower social status expressed more anger…. Japanese with higher social status expressed more anger….” – maybe there’s a biological explanation? – h/t neuroskeptic!
Life Purpose Buffers Negative Moods Triggered by Diversity – “Being in the minority in an ethnically diverse crowd is distressing, regardless of your ethnicity….” – h/t mr. mangan, esq!
Neandertals ate stomach goop, and you can too – mmmmm! chyme!
Study: Narcissists Only Think They’re Especially Creative – “Narcissistic people do undertake more creative things, but their correlation with self-reported creativity is disproportionately strong.” – h/t jayman! – speaking of narcissts: The Double-Edged Sword of Grandiose Narcissism: Implications for Successful and Unsuccessful Leadership Among U.S. Presidents.
The Whites of Their Eyes – “The subjects in [milgram's] experiments notoriously (and shockingly!) were willing to inflict great pain and possibly permanent harm or even death on victims. But they became less willing to do so as the victim was moved progressively closer to them.”
Meritocracy and Its Discontents – @thosewhocansee.
The Paekchong of Korea – from peter frost.
Tribal feuds, local conflicts engulf Libya – “Ever since its revolution, Libya has been riddled with tribal conflict. The state remains powerless in the face of weapon proliferation and violence. Societal fragmentation seems inevitable.” — huh. strange.
The Anglosphere miracle – by daniel hannan – “As for the idea that the individual should be as free as possible from state coercion, this is regarded as the ultimate Anglophone fetish. Whenever the E.U. extends its jurisdiction into a new field—decreeing what vitamins we can buy, how much capital banks must hold, what hours we may work, how herbal remedies are to be regulated—I ask what specific problem the new rules are needed to solve. The response is always the same: ‘But the old system was unregulated!’ The idea that absence of regulation might be a natural state of affairs is seen as preposterous.”
A Second Great Depression? – from jayman.
Why a medieval peasant got more vacation time than you – d*mn them! h/t mike anissimov!
I tooke a bodkine – “‘I tooke a bodkine,’ he wrote in his notebook, ‘& put it betwixt my eye & bone as neare to [the] backside of my eye as I could: pressing my eye [with the] end of it…there appeared severall white & darke & coloured circles…which circles were plainest when I continued to rub my eye [with the] point of [the] bodkine.’ After many months with his bodkins, notebooks and prisms he came to the conclusion that our eyes can deceive us even about something as obvious as daylight, which appears plain and simple to us, but is in fact composed of lights of many different colours. Appearances can conceal as much as they reveal.” – great #longread about isaac newton.
Preventing penile fractures and Peyronie’s disease – DON’T try this at home!: “In some Middle East regions, men engage in a practice known as *taqaandan* (‘to click’ in Kurdish), explains Dr. Javaad Zargooshi, urology professor at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in Iran. It’s a painless process, similar to knuckle-cracking, in which the top half of an erect penis is bent forcefully while the rest of the shaft is held stationary. Usually this produces only a loss of erection and a satisfying popping noise, says Zargooshi, who published a report on the phenomenon in December in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Other times, it will fracture the penis.” – wait. what? – via ed west!
Aldeburgh dig unearths teenager’s ‘keepsakes’ box – “An Anglo-Saxon teenage girl’s box of trinkets is thought to have been uncovered by archaeologists during a three-week dig in Suffolk.”
bonus bonus: True scale of European immigration – “An EU study has found 600,000 unemployed migrants are living in Britain.”
bonus bonus bonus bonus: Swifts stay airborne for six months at a time – whoa!
bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Southern Flying Squirrels Land in Canada – “Southern flying squirrels are moving into the habitat of Northern flying squirrels. Now people are debating what to call the hybrid offspring.” — illegal infiltrators! (~_^)
(note: comments do not require an email. really sweet bronze anglo-saxon dolphin trinket!)