linkfest – 01/27/13

A Fat Problem With Heart Health Wisdom – awesome post from jayman. look at the chart. just look at it!

Stress’s impact can affect future generations’ genes“For the first time, genes chemically silenced by stress during life have been shown to remain silenced in eggs and sperm, allowing the effect to be passed down to the next generation…. They found that a tiny number of methylated gene regions survived unerased: an average of just 233 out of approximately 25,000 in the germ cells examined…. Do the markings survive simply because the erasure process may not always work properly, or are they deliberately spared so that the information they carry is passed to the next generation? The finding ‘doesn’t solve this question’, says Hackett. ‘But it’s a proof of principle for one possible mechanism by which traits might be inherited epigenetically.'”

four part series from frank salter — deals mainly with australia, but still an important read for everyone: The War Against Human Nature in the Social Sciences and The War against Human Nature II: Gender Studies (Part 1) and The War against Human Nature II: Gender Studies (Part 2) and The War Against Human Nature III: Race and the Nation in the Media

HVGIQ: Haiti“A weighted average of the Cotten study and the de Ronceray study gives us an IQ of 68 for Haiti. More or less identical to the estimate currently used by Lynn.” – from jason malloy @human varieties. see also A Note on the Hypothesized Haitian Average IQ from nelson.

Sex differences on g and non-g intellectual performance reveal potential sources of STEM discrepancies“Sex differences in cognition are masked by the general factor of intelligence (g). The difference in favoring boys increases across adolescence up to 4 IQ points. Boys show an advantage in mechanical reasoning irrespective of latent g. This advantage might help to understand sex discrepancies in STEM disciplines.” – via mangan.

News in Brief: Ancient human DNA suggests minimal interbreeding“Genetic analysis indicates Stone Age people mated infrequently with Neandertals and other close relatives” – see also dienekes. also peter frost: When was the split?

Messing with the privates“[W]omen in the generality are physically different from men.” – thank you for noticing, john! (~_^) – the derb on, amongst other things, the physical differences between men & women and what that means wrt women in the military and on the front lines (bad idea!). eg.: “‘Using the standard Army Physical Fitness Test … the upper quintile of women at West Point achieved scores on the test equivalent to the bottom quintile of men.'”

The case for earlier Out-of-Africa – @dienekes’.

The Liberals’ War on Science“41 percent of Democrats are young Earth creationists….”

Emotional Smarts Tied to General IQ“The same brain regions that perform cognitive tasks may also provide social intelligence, according to a new study.”

Social evolution: The ritual animal“A major aim of the investigation is to test Whitehouse’s theory that rituals come in two broad types, which have different effects on group bonding. Routine actions such as prayers at church, mosque or synagogue, or the daily pledge of allegiance recited in many US elementary schools, are rituals operating in what Whitehouse calls the ‘doctrinal mode’…. Rare, traumatic activities such as beating, scarring or self-mutilation, by contrast, are rituals operating in what Whitehouse calls the ‘imagistic mode’. ‘Traumatic rituals create strong bonds among those who experience them together,’ he says, which makes them especially suited to creating small, intensely committed groups such as cults, military platoons or terrorist cells…. [L]ow-frequency but high-arousal imagistic varieties that were more common in societies with a smaller average community size, and high-frequency, low-arousal doctrinal rituals that were more established in societies in which communities are larger.”

‘Man Flu’ might not be a myth after all“‘Man Flu’ might not be a myth after all as they have different brains, a female academic has claimed. Dr Amanda Ellison claims that men really do suffer more with coughs and colds as they have more temperature receptors in the brain which causes them to experience the symptoms more acutely than the fairer sex.”

Polynesians reached South America, picked up sweet potatoes, went home“Tubers were spread from New Zealand to Hawaii before European contact.”

Diet, Parental Behavior, and Preschool Can Boost Children’s IQ – wonder if the effects are permanent? the diet one (3.5 points w/omega-3) certainly might be.

bonus: echidna penises have four heads – what more is there to say?

bonus bonus: Ethnic origins of US attendees of 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos – @race/history/evolution.

bonus bonus bonus: Chinese man kept alive by self-built dialysis machine – extra iq points can come in d*mn handy!

bonus bonus bonus bonus: HIV-like viruses in non-human primates have existed much longer than previously thought“Viruses similar to those that cause AIDS in humans were present in non-human primates in Africa at least 5 million years ago and perhaps up to 12 million years ago….”

(note: comments do not require an email. echidna penis – NSFW!)

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22 Comments

  1. Thanks, again!

    About the “epigenetic inheritance”, I think this sums it right up:

    Those sceptical of epigenetic inheritance are adamant that even if some methylated DNA makes it through, it is likely to be because of faulty erasure. “The idea that what’s left carries information about the environment is sufficiently far-fetched to demand much more evidence of its importance,” says Adrian Bird of the University of Edinburgh, UK. “I’d say [the erasure] is an inefficient process, and what’s left doesn’t matter.”

    But the research continues…

    Reply

  2. As for the “Diet, Parental Behavior, and Preschool Can Boost Children’s IQ”, it’s the usual neuroplasticity nonsense. IQ is affected by environment in young children but that aspect peters out to zero by the time the children become adults:

    See this chart:

    Reply

  3. @jayman – “IQ is affected by environment in young children but that aspect peters out to zero by the time the children become adults.”

    yeah. that’s why i wondered how permanent these effects are. it would be nice if somebody would do a longitudnal study on this — follow a cohort of kids like this through adulthood — see what happens. inquiring minds want to know!

    of all the things they tried, i’d think the better nutrition would have the most/best effects (if any at all). feeding developing brains well is just a good idea all ’round.

    speaking of developing brains, this is just a complete aside — you know what scares me most nowadays wrt the development of kids in the u.s./the west? things like medications for adhd. yikes! why would you dope your kids up RIGHT when their brains are developing? scary.

    Reply

    1. “yeah. that’s why i wondered how permanent these effects are. it would be nice if somebody would do a longitudnal study on this — follow a cohort of kids like this through adulthood — see what happens. inquiring minds want to know!”

      Yes. You would need a randomly sorted control group to compare against, to ensure it’s not just higher IQ parents going in that makes the difference (which is usually behind the positive effects of breastfeeding, for example).

      “speaking of developing brains, this is just a complete aside — you know what scares me most nowadays wrt the development of kids in the u.s./the west? things like medications for adhd. yikes! why would you dope your kids up RIGHT when their brains are developing? scary.”

      Indeed. It should be studied (but that’s a hard study to create).

      Ironically, I’ve seen it said somewhere (Randall Parker?) that drugs like Adderall are “autism in a bottle.” Oddly the autism spectrum seems like the polar opposite to ADD. But interestingly, in searching for the link, I found this one that notes that a few children have both.

      Reply

  4. @jayman – “About the ‘epigenetic inheritance’, I think this sums it right up: ‘I’d say [the erasure] is an inefficient process, and what’s left doesn’t matter.'”

    or maybe not that it doesn’t matter at all, but that perhaps it matters a bit. i don’t know — but neither does anybody else really at this point! like you say, further research definitely required.

    i still wanna know what the genetics of epigenetics is (if it matters at all — which i’m guessing that it does).

    Reply

  5. @jayman – “And the sex differences in IQ need further study. The differences in the mean that Lynn, Rushton, and others have found may be due to attrition of the lowest IQ males.”

    yes, but i thought that what lemos, et al., were saying was that, because the average iq (g) of men and women appears to be largely the same, that obscures possible differences in the results on some of the sub-tests (or whatever you call it) between the two sexes. iow, they’re working from the standpoint that the average iqs of men and women are the same (at least that’s how i read the abstract). and, then, ’cause men do better on the mechanical side of things, they do better in the stem fields. (kinda made sense to me.)

    Reply

  6. @jayman – “You would need a randomly sorted control group to compare against, to ensure it’s not just higher IQ parents going in that makes the difference….”

    yup, yup!

    @jayman – “Oddly the autism spectrum seems like the polar opposite to ADD. But interestingly, in searching for the link, I found this one that notes that a few children have both.”

    it’s pretty common for siblings of autistic/asperger’s kids to have adhd (and/or vice versa). there’s something in common there … maybe it’s just parental age, i dunno.

    Reply

  7. The study regarding “diet, parental behavior and preschool can boost children’s IQ” is easy to explain. Parents who have higher IQ’s are going to do this, because it is currently considered best parenting practice these days.

    Reply

  8. The fat study is very intriguing. I have often wondered since it seems obvious that some countries have generally stuck with their traditional diet and are doing well health wise ie. Japan? (correct me if I am wrong) I am so American in that I have multiple heredity lines from northern Europe that I am constantly trying to find a diet that makes me feel good and does not make me fat (is there such a thing?). I also wonder if the American diet is so new and non traditional and ethnicity is getting to be a melting pot, if that explains why we are all sick and fat.

    Reply

  9. Heh, “man flu” – caught my second cold in as many weeks on Fri; I *hate* colds!
    Anyhow, on the Haiti IQ piece, I updated my blog post to reflect Malloy’s new findings. I think the wide variance in IQ he found in the three papers he cites has to do with the students’ age. As most (all?) were under 16, methinks environmental factors could’ve helped shaped the IQ variance since such factors have stronger effects on children.

    Reply

  10. Thank you for linking to Frank Salter’s articles.

    I wish we had a magazine like Quadrant Magazine in Norway.

    Reply

  11. @mrs. bob – “The study regarding ‘diet, parental behavior and preschool can boost children’s IQ’ is easy to explain. Parents who have higher IQ’s are going to do this, because it is currently considered best parenting practice these days.”

    yes, this is the problem-that-never-goes-away in these sorts of studies, i.e. that they fail to control for the iq/social status of the parents (or something similar).

    Reply

  12. @mrs. bob – “I am so American in that I have multiple heredity lines from northern Europe that I am constantly trying to find a diet that makes me feel good and does not make me fat (is there such a thing?).”

    a lot of people swear by the paleo/low carb/ketogenic diet(s).

    Reply

  13. @ihtg – “You might be interested in the description of housing arrangements in the third section of this article.”

    ah, interesting!: “‘The typical family lived in a complex of several houses, a house for each brother, around an internal courtyard. It was completely different than the cabins of the Muslim peasants and the huts in Jewish towns in Europe.'”

    thanks!

    my guess (guess) is that north african and middle eastern jews practiced more close marriages than european jews did, so they ought to be more “clannish” — although sephardic and eastern european jews (the hasidic guys) probably come in a close second. my guess is that central european jews (from germany, france) historically practiced the least amount of close marriages.

    re. the title of the article: How Arabs stole Jewish property

    boy. everybody’s got a grudge against everybody else in the middle east, huh? =/

    Reply

  14. Thanks for the comment regarding the Ketogenic diet. I have never heard of it (surprisingly) but will look into it as I have health problems that are currently controlled by a drug that was originally intended as an anti-convulsant for those with epilepsy.

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  15. “awesome post from jayman. look at the chart. just look at it!”

    heh. it’s almost like it’s been designed to make the blank slate look stupid.

    i have such a strong feeling about this – humans having hundreds of adaptations to their particular ancestor’s historic diet and how this will impact the design of medicine. if civilization survives the next 100 years then i think medical students of the future will laugh at the idea of medicines that weren’t designed for specific ancestries.

    .
    Mrs Bob

    “The fat study is very intriguing. I have often wondered since it seems obvious that some countries have generally stuck with their traditional diet and are doing well health wise ie. Japan? (correct me if I am wrong) I am so American in that I have multiple heredity lines from northern Europe that I am constantly trying to find a diet that makes me feel good and does not make me fat (is there such a thing?). I also wonder if the American diet is so new and non traditional and ethnicity is getting to be a melting pot, if that explains why we are all sick and fat.”

    I think this is going to turn out to be very true with the current American diet – like medicines imo – not spefically suiting anybody but the various ethnic diets only suiting those with precisely that ancestry. If true perhaps an earlier common diet e.g. paleo, would logically be the best simple answer? Either that or a more complex answer where it’s an individual pick and mix of individual parts of various ethnic diets depending on which genes you got, for example if you got the olive gene from southern ancestors or the butter gene from northern ancestors?

    .
    “my guess (guess) is that north african and middle eastern jews practiced more close marriages than european jews did”

    I wonder if it changed over time? i’m particularly interested if it changed more towards the north euro model after the drift back from eastern europe.

    Reply

  16. “HIV-like viruses in non-human primates have existed much longer than previously thought”

    I think this will turn out to be a big deal as well.

    Reply

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