linkfest – 07/08/12

Genes May Play Role in Educational Achievement, Study Finds“Researchers have identified genetic markers that may influence whether a person finishes high school and goes on to college, according to a national longitudinal study of thousands of young Americans…. The three genes identified in the study – DAT1, DRD2 and DRD4 – have been linked to behaviors such as attention regulation, motivation, violence, cognitive skills and intelligence, according to the study.”

Racial bias colours visual perception“Prejudiced people slowest to recognize faces from other races.” – or maybe people who are slowest to recognize faces from other races are the most “prejudiced”?

Cross-national IQ, inequality, and homicide – from the inductivist.

Research shows endowment effect in chimpanzees can be turned on and off“‘These results strongly support the idea that the endowment effect reflects the deep influence of evolutionary processes – notably natural selection – on psychological predispositions that affect how brains ascribe value to objects.'”

A scientific study reveals that individuals cooperate according to their emotional state and their prior experiences“[P]eople do not act thinking in their own reward, as had been previously believed, but rather individuals are more influenced by their own mood at the time and by the number of individuals with whom they have cooperated before.”

Baby makers scorn porn? – from the awesome epigone.

Chronic pain is determined by emotions, scientists believe“The more emotionally the brain reacted to the initial injury, the more likely it was that pain will persist after the injury has healed, he said. Prof Apakarian added: ‘It may be that these sections of the brain are more excited to begin with in certain individuals, or there may be genetic and environmental influences that predispose these brain regions to interact at an excitable level.'”

‘Cat ladies’ more likely to commit suicide, scientists claim“Researchers found women infected with the Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) parasite, which is spread through contact with cat faeces or eating undercooked meat or unwashed vegetables, are at increased risk of attempting suicide.”

Autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may share common underlying factors, study suggests“New research led by a medical geneticist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine points to an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) among individuals whose parents or siblings have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.”

O Brother, Who Art Thou? – review of Born Together – Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study.

23andMe Contributes to Genetic Discoveries Related to Breast Size and Breast Cancer“23andMe … has identified seven single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) significantly associated with breast size, including three SNPs also correlated with breast cancer in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) now published online in BMC Medical Genetics. These findings make the first concrete genetic link between breast size and breast cancer risks.” – they looked at data from women of european ancestry.

Researchers Find a Brain Center for Social Choices“Poker-playing subjects seen weighing whether to bluff.”

bonus: the higgs! (maybe/probably)

bonus bonus: The ‘appetite-suppressing’ effect of proteins explained

bonus bonus bonus: Plants that feed on animals underground discovered“Three species of carnivorous plant that feed on worms underground have been discovered in the Brazilian savannah.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Women ‘deliberately post ugly photos of friends online’ – heh.

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Dogs May Mourn as Deeply as Humans Do – dogs are people, too.

(note: comments do not require an email. boobies!)

18 Comments

  1. Now: Are these educational achievement genes distributed differentially between ethnicities, and do the effects of the genes vary between ethnicities?

    Reply

  2. re: “‘Cat ladies’ more likely to commit suicide, scientists claim”

    Wonder if that isn’t a case of correlation does not mean causation? In my experience cat ladies have been a pretty lonely, neurotic lot compared to the average.

    Meanwhile dentists are five times more likely to commit suicide according to a link at Ann Althouse’s blog.

    Reply

  3. Georgia Resident:

    Now: Are these educational achievement genes distributed differentially between ethnicities, and do the effects of the genes vary between ethnicities?

    Actually, with the data in the ADD Health survey, they should easily be able to determine this. The ADD Health data contains a significant number of minority subjects (this was the data that Satoshi Kanazawa used to make his observation about the attractiveness of Black women, which landed him in hot water), so as long as they didn’t exclude non-White participants, it should be in the data.

    I am doubtful that they’ll release this though, as careers may be on the line…

    Reply

  4. The frequency of the 7 repeat version of DRD4 is higher in Amerindians:

    “The exception occurs in many Native American reservation communities, where ADHD is a very common diagnosis for even very young children.”
    http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=13852&cn=3

    “Common traits among hunter–gatherers such as novelty-seeking temperament, hyperactivity, and impulsivity could have been important and advantageous in new environments during America’s prehistoric colonization.”
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajpa.21358/abstract

    Reply

  5. “Women ‘deliberately post ugly photos of friends online.”

    Oh no, she didn’t. (Waves finger)

    Reply

  6. @luke – “In my experience cat ladies have been a pretty lonely, neurotic lot compared to the average. “

    but that might be because they’re infect with t. gondii.

    Reply

  7. Thanks Nelson! The paper indicates that there are significant differences in the prevalence of the different alleles between Whites and Blacks (other groups were lumped together so its impossible to call it for them). OK, so now it looks like we have more evidence of genes known to influence real-world outcomes that differ between racial groups. Do you guys think that this will make a splash or will be conveniently ignored?

    Reply

  8. @JayMan: Probably the latter, for PC reasons plus the (misguided) effort to reform education by narrowing the so-called “achievement gap” and focusing (excessively, in my view) on standardized testing (there’s a lot of money riding on ed. reform, thanks in part to things like Race to the Top)…

    Reply

  9. @Nelson:

    I suspect that someone will have a field day writing a book tabulating all the evidence for genes that are known to influence behavior that differ in prevalence among the races. That will likely make a big splash…

    Reply

  10. @jayman – “The paper indicates that there are significant differences in the prevalence of the different alleles between Whites and Blacks (other groups were lumped together so its impossible to call it for them).”

    interesting!! (thnx, nelson!)

    blog about it, jayman! (i’ll link to ya.) (^_^)

    Reply

  11. or maybe people who are slowest to recognize faces from other races are the most “prejudiced”?

    Quite.

    .
    Meanwhile dentists are five times more likely to commit suicide

    If some agent related to cats is the cause in cat ladies then maybe there’s something in one of the chemicals dentist’s use?

    .

    Reply

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