linkfest – 07/29/12

Inbreeding’s Downside Is Not All in the Genes – epigenetics and inbreeding. ruh roh. – “[T]he abnormal methylation might result from some of the rare genes exposed by inbreeding, especially if these genes help regulate the attachment and removal of methyl groups.”

Social Deprivation Has a Measurable Effect On Brain Growth

Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity. see also: Hunter gatherer clue to obesity“A study of the Hadza tribe, who still exist as hunter gatherers, suggests the amount of calories we need is a fixed human characteristic.”

Did Modern Humans — Not Environmental Catastrophe — Extinguish the Neandertals?

IQ estimates from wordsum scores by ancestry – from the awesome epigone.

Hispanic performance by generation and Hispanics, the NLSY 97 – from chuck (the occidentalist).

Did Ron Unz Score An Own Goal, Too? – from anatoly.

bonus: The spectre of plagiarism haunting Europe“Last month it was revealed that more than a third of a new book for law students on how to write papers properly was plagiarised, including liberal smatterings from Wikipedia. Fittingly, even the chapter on plagiarism was plagiarised.”

bonus bonus: The Redder the Better: Wing Color Predicts Flight Performance in Monarch Butterflies

bonus bonus bonus: Estimate: A new Amish community is founded every 3 and a half weeks in US

bonus bonus bonus bonus: The skin’s secret surveillance system“Microorganisms that reside on the skin found to influence host immunity.”

(note: comments do not require an email. why hello there!)


  1. @hbd chick “Inbreeding’s Downside Is Not All in the Genes –” Thanks. I had knonw about that study but been unable to run it down. To say inbreeding depression isn’t all in the genes seems a bit of an understatement. As far as thos plants are concerned, none of it is in the genes. The review I had read suggested that the plants, after demethylation, were in fact BETTER than their non inbred peers. Obviously I am thinking that outbreeding depression is also probably due to a change in methylation pattern. It makes sense from a time course perspective.
    I see from other remarks in the article that the prejudice against inbreeding is unabated.


  2. @linton – “Thanks. I had knonw about that study but been unable to run it down.”

    yes, i thought you’d like that one. (^_^)

    this epigenetics business surely complicates the whole picture. in an extremely interesting way, tho!

    @linton – “As far as thos plants are concerned, none of it is in the genes.”

    well, don’t forget — epigenetics isn’t magic. the process of methylation probably has some underlying genetic “controls” to it. so, adding epigenetics to the picture doesn’t eliminate the genetics — just makes the rabbit hole go deeper — and turn in unexpected directions.


  3. @luke – “Also Gravitar grabbed my ID. What’s with that?”

    huh. what do you mean by that? (i hope wordpress hasn’t changed the commenting system again.)

    comments are open at the moment. no moderation (unless you’re a first-time user — or are on a different computer from the one you usually use? — or have cleared your cookies recently?).


  4. @luke – “I just finished her memoir, Socialism Is Great, which is one of the best books I’ve read on China so far. Quite a story.”

    thanks for the reference! will check it out.


  5. re: Gravitar

    I’ve never heard of it, or at least don’t remember. Then, suddenly, at the bottom of my comment, where you are supposed to identify yourself, and where usually I use either Google or Facebook for sign-in, I see this Gravitar ID. What’s more my user name has been changed to “the soft path” and my email is @gmail.c, ie, without the last “om.” So I try to contact Gravitar to have “my account” deleted but they say they cannot delete accounts. WTF?


  6. @luke – “So I try to contact Gravitar to have ‘my account’ deleted but they say they cannot delete accounts. WTF?”

    yeah. sorry about that. those are the stupid changes that wordpress made to the commenting system here a couple of months ago (that i was tearing my hair out over for a week or two). some very important ninny (i think it was a head guy at twitter, iirc) complained that some commenter somewhere on wordpress had stolen his gravatar i.d. — so this was their solution — to make everyone wanting to leave a comment on wordpress who also wants to use an email address that has ever been remotely connected to a wordpress or a gravatar account sign in. it’s a pain. and, no, for whatever reason, gravatar won’t delete accounts. =/

    the best way to avoid all this hassle (i think) is to just skip using an email address altogether. i’ve set my comments settings (which i had to fight with wordpress to be able to do) so that no one has to sign in at all. you can just put your name and skip the email and website fields. (you don’t even have to use your real name if you don’t want to.)

    however, if you’re signing in to other blogs, then your browser is going to get some cookies to remember that, and you might experience a problem back here again with the wordpress/gravatar log-in. it’s up to you if you want to decline cookies, but depending on how you use the internet, that can be awkward.

    maybe i should make that move off wordpres….


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