linkfest – 09/02/12

New DNA analysis shows ancient humans interbred with Denisovans“A new high-coverage DNA sequencing method reconstructs the full genome of Denisovans — relatives to both Neandertals and humans — from genetic fragments in a single finger bone.” see also Genome Brings Ancient Girl to Life.

Monogamy and the Immune System“[P]romiscuous mice had much more diversity in the genes related to their immune system.”

Why Humans Give Birth to Helpless Babies – metabolic crossover, not bipedalism.

Vitamin D may increase IVF success – depending on race“[W]hile white women can boost their IVF success rates with vitamin D, the opposite appears to be true for Asian women.”

At Last, Humans Get a Scientific Promotion – as opposed to a copernican demotion. (~_^) – from matt ridley.

Another Tale of Two Maps“In accordance with my Pioneer Hypothesis, fertility rates in Europe and East Asia are low because these regions are populated by people who do not descend from recent immigrants, having inhabited these areas since ancient times by in large. Hence, natural selection has favored slowly reproducing individuals (who are only marginally ‘natalist’ to even ‘anti-natalist’), to keep population under control.” – from jayman.

Wealthy families obey economics rather than evolution“A study in Sweden spanning five generations confirms that the wealthiest families tend to remain small, despite evolutionary pressures to have as many offspring as possible…. Evolutionarily, the model might only apply in safe countries like Sweden, which has one of the longest life expectancies in the world….”

National differences in female partner violence“Ethiopia has the highest percent ever being physically or sexually assault by a partner — 71 percent. Japan has the lowest with 15 percent.” – from the inductivist.

Republican men are the most politically informed – from the awesome epigone.

Analysis explores how religion and ethnicity shape the Asian-American vote“Asian Americans who are agnostic, atheist, Hindu and Muslim were more likely to hold liberal political views and were more likely to vote for Obama. Protestants and Catholics who were more likely to hold politically conservative views also supported Obama. Vietnamese Americans, many of whom are Catholic, were more likely to vote for John McCain.”

Addicted to the internet? It could be all in your genes – ruh roh.

Severe Diet Doesn’t Prolong Life, at Least in Monkeys – eat up!

A Turkish origin for Indo-European languages“Languages as diverse as English, Russian and Hindi can trace their roots back more than 8,000 years to Anatolia….”

bonus: Horse gait traced to single mutation“A single gene mutation in horses can endow them with a wider repertoire of gaits. The finding, reported this week in Nature, shows that some seemingly complex physical traits can have a simple genetic basis.”

bonus bonus: China’s Chaotic Health Care Drives Patient Attacks

(note: comments do not require an email. all the better to hear you with, my dear!)


  1. Thanks for the plug!

    About the genetic link to internet addiction, I’m like no sh*t! How many more years do you think we’ll have to endure headlines about discoveries of physical and genetic links to behavior that treat it as if it’s some shocking revelation?

    None the less, it will be a helpful bit when I write my next post on free will and addiction… :)


  2. Eh…? I wish Nature had named their article “An Anatolian origin for Indo-European Languages”. Turkish is a language, not a geographic feature. People glancing at that article are going to think IE languages came from Altaic languages, which is not what is being suggested at all.

    “Asia Minor” would probably be okay, but I don’t know how to make it into an adjective.


  3. @jayman – “About the genetic link to internet addiction, I’m like no sh*t!”

    heh. (^_^) yeah, i coulda told ’em that. h*ck — i could be the type specimen! (~_^)


  4. @olave – “I wish Nature had named their article ‘An Anatolian origin for Indo-European Languages’. Turkish is a language, not a geographic feature.”

    good point! i actually didn’t think of turkish as in the language, but rather as in the place, but i’m odd. (~_^)


  5. About the wealthy families having fewer children, this almost parallels what I found when I did a similar look at the data. It appears to be an IQ x secular interaction, such that high-IQ, secular people (who value education, career, and socioeconomic standing) strive to achieve things things before having children, and in so doing, reduce the number of children they end up having. I’m assuming it’s much the same in Sweden, where these wealthy families are predominantly high-IQ (of course) and non-religious.

    Of course, we’re really talking about women—high-IQ women delay children and often marriage while pursing education and career, so this reduces lifetime fertility.


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