linkfest – 09/16/12

Growing your own merchant class“To explain the high incidence of Tay-Sachs among Ashkenazi Jews, some authors have invoked heterozygote advantage…. A similar situation may have developed in eastern Quebec, where the relative scarcity of British and American merchants made it easier for French Canadians to enter occupations that required literacy, numeracy, and future time orientation.” — cool! from peter frost.

A slower mutation rate has implications… and here they are“Researchers have long used an autosomal mutation rate for humans that was based on a calibration of the split between humans and chimps…. More recently, a variety of studies using a variety of techniques (latest one from ASHG 2012) all came up with a rate that is about half that value.” — important stuff from dienekes.

Learning faster with neurodegenerative disease“People who bear the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease learn faster than healthy people. The more pronounced the mutation was, the more quickly they learned.”

Eating disorders and the extreme female brain – @the breviary.

Were you Assimilable? – superb post from m.g. over @those who can see!

How early social deprivation impairs long-term cognitive function“Social isolation during early life prevents the cells that make up the brain’s white matter from maturing and producing the right amount of myelin….”

Soapy taste of coriander linked to genetic variants“Dislike of herb traced to genes encoding odour and taste receptors.”

Looking at you: Face genes identified“5 genes have been found to determine human facial shapes.” — see also Police could create image of suspect’s face from DNA.

The Return of the Ugly, Racist Pseudoscientist with a Small Penis – kanazawa’s back. (~_^) via steve sailer.

bonus: GM corn loses its edge against pests“Corn rootworms in the US may have developed resistance to a protective chemical made by a genetically modified corn.”

bonus bonus: Giant viruses coexisted with the cellular ancestors and represent a distinct supergroup along with superkingdoms Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya

bonus bonus bonus: After Egyptian Dictatorship Comes Epidemic Harassment Of Women“Progress is not inevitable….” — no. no it’s not. from parapundit.

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital — from matt taibbi. via anatoly.

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: In China We (Don’t) Trust

(note: comments do not require an email. don’t forget! — death to america!)

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17 Comments

  1. “People who bear the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease learn faster than healthy people. The more pronounced the mutation was, the more quickly they learned.”

    Well, I guess that explains why, of House’s “old new team”, 13 was the first to figure House out, and the last to be cracked by House. ;P

    Reply

  2. “After Egyptian Dictatorship Comes Epidemic Harassment Of Women”

    The more restricted the marriage choice the more the women need to be controlled. I think this is possibly a clue when the details of a particular marriage culture aren’t entirely known. If it’s known that the women are tightly controlled then the marriage culture is probably restrictive and if the control is looser then the marriage culture is probably looser e.g. some of those Polynesian isalnds.

    Reply

  3. Re: Egyptian women

    It’s interesting to me that the very first thing that Muslim women cover up, when they “go fundie”, is the sides of their neck, via the hijab.

    Meanwhile, even the most religious Jewish or Christian women never cover their necks. They’ll cover everything else up, but the neck remains bare.

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  4. @ihtg – “They’ll cover everything else up, but the neck remains bare.”

    i always thought it was funny/cool that the geisha girls always leave juuuust a little bit of the back of the neck unpainted (NAKED!). wicked temptresses.

    forget the b00bs or the legs — it IS all about the neck. (~_^)

    Reply

  5. re: Learning faster with neurodegenerative disease

    Mutations which confer reproductive advantage at a young age but at the cost of disadvantages in old age are often favored by natural selection, or so I was informed earlier today while watching one of Berkeley’s open-course lectures on population genetics. Makes sense. The lecturer reported on a neat experiment with fruit flies that were selected for longevity. The average wild-type fruit fly lives about 30 days. After ten generations (I think it was ten) selecting those that lived longest the experiment produced a population with an average life expectancy of six months! But then when they tested its fertility it turned out to produce fewer offspring on average.

    Reply

  6. re: “Giant viruses coexisted with the cellular ancestors and represent a distinct supergroup along with superkingdoms Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya”

    I don’t believe viruses are considered to be living things.

    Reply

  7. “Eating disorders and the extreme female brain – @the breviary.”

    On the other hand –

    http://www.autismkey.com/autism-and-eating-disorders-a-problematic-connection/” Problematically, some girls with Asperger’s begin to treat their weight as their special interest, becoming obsessed by the science of calories as they pore over charts and tables.”

    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1904999,00.html“In addition, says Janet Treasure, director of the Maudsley Eating Disorders Unit, past research suggests that about 15% to 20% of patients with anorexia may also have Asperger’s syndrome, an autism-spectrum disorder. Research also shows that the conditions occur together in families more often than they would by chance. It’s possible, she says, that the same genetic predisposition for autism and anorexia may be expressed differently depending on gender.”

    And in theory autism is the “extreme male brain”!

    Perhaps anorexia is the result of an autistic tendency to not really get people, perhaps compared to taking a systematic approach or a general interest in the world (or in spatial relations particularly), combined with an agreeable disposition that seeks other people’s approval. People with autism also have high fear of negative evalutations, despite their “extreme male brains”.

    Thus, anorexia, which is a behaviour that involves seeking approval from others, but is kind of self involved and doesn’t actually involve much contact with others. (Anorexia also seems autism like in that it involves treating the body as a system that is amenable to control and understanding. Like exercise and diet freakery which are closely related to ana.)

    If we look at the East Asian populations where anorexia has a slight increase, we tend to see not really in an increased ability to empathise or interest in such (it seems about the same) but an increase in negative emotionality, fear of negative evaluations and introversion (avoiding human contact).

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  8. @matt – “‘Problematically, some girls with Asperger’s begin to treat their weight as their special interest, becoming obsessed by the science of calories as they pore over charts and tables.'”

    yes, i’ve heard that, too. and can readily believe it. i dieted once — and was scarily good/efficient at it. like that quote there, i really got into working out the exact calories of what i ate, etc., etc. (still got all that info in my head, too). the only thing with me, tho, is that i had a goal weight and once i hit that, i was satisfied. iow, i guess i don’t have whatever obsessive-compulsive drive leads some aspie women to KEEP counting calories. forever.

    (for the record, i found that ONLY counting calories worked fine for losing weight and i didn’t pay any attention whatsoever as to what sorts of food i was eating — meat or vegetables or whatever. in fact, as i recall, a good part of my “diet” included peanut m&m’s. (~_^) )

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  9. @jayman – “Well, I guess that explains why, of House’s ‘old new team’, 13 was the first to figure House out, and the last to be cracked by House. ;P”

    i have tried to watch/like house, i really have — ’cause i’m a big hugh laurie fan — but i just can’t. (~_^) just can’t do it. there are just some details that i can’t get past (i think ’cause i’m an aspie) — for instance: DOCTORS DON’T RUN THEIR OWN LAB TESTS! they just don’t! that’s what lab technicians are for. (see? it’s the stupid, picky details i can’t get past. (~_^) )

    i think i also can’t watch it because i am such a big hugh laurie fan. he was soooooo good/funny in things like the “jeeves and wooster” series and, omg, black adder (esp. — heh — black adder 3). sorry — just can’t watch him prostitute himself on house just for money. (~_^) (although i’m glad he’s made a bundle now — i’m glad for that after all the laughs he’s provided me! (^_^) )

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  10. @g.w. – “The more restricted the marriage choice the more the women need to be controlled.”

    absolutely.

    i also think/wonder if some of the covering up of women in the middle east really is for their protection as some muslim advocates of the practice argue. i mean, at least from where i’m sitting (i.e. a long distance away from the middle east), it sometimes appears as if middle eastern/arab/maghrebian men really just can’t control themselves around women. i really wonder if there’s something biological here — i.e. that they truly can’t curb those drives.

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  11. @luke – “Mutations which confer reproductive advantage at a young age but at the cost of disadvantages in old age are often favored by natural selection, or so I was informed earlier today while watching one of Berkeley’s open-course lectures on population genetics. Makes sense.”

    yup! sure does. doesn’t matter if you get frail and demented when you’re old. all that counts is that you’re able to reproduce lots when you’re young.

    i’ve got an idea that that’s why there’s a mis-match between when humans become fertile and when our brains are fully developed, in the sense that our frontal lobes and all their behavioral inhibitory functions are fully up and running (sometime in the 20s for most humans from what i understand). it seems to me that those two things would not, necessarily, go together, and that there would be a selective push towards all the reckless reproductive behaviors of youth.

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  12. “i really wonder if there’s something biological here — i.e. that they truly can’t curb those drives.”

    Well if you have a culture where women’s mating choices are very restricted then it’s likely to have lower penalties for assaulting a woman who is out without a male relative e.g. two female witnesses equal one male witness in Islamic law. So it might be an example of where a particular cultural environment doesn’t neccessarily directly select more strongly for certain traits but doesn’t select *against* certain traits as strongly as another culture in the same way the hajnal culture may not select for individualism exactly but it doesn’t select *against* it as much as an endogamous culture does.

    .
    “i’ve got an idea that that’s why there’s a mis-match between when humans become fertile and when our brains are fully developed”

    I think that’s true. I wonder if the first evolved early when brains were less developed and the gap has grown over time.

    Reply

  13. @g.w. – “So it might be an example of where a particular cultural environment doesn’t neccessarily directly select more strongly for certain traits but doesn’t select *against* certain traits as strongly as another culture….”

    yeah. that makes sense!

    Reply

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