linkfest – 05/26/13

Diabetes’ genetic underpinnings can vary based on ethnic background, Stanford studies say – the researchers “found a clear geographic pattern in the genetics behind type-2 diabetes. The genetic risk is highest for Africans and drops along the trajectory the first humans took when migrating out of Africa toward East Asia (primarily Japan, China and Korea), where diabetes-linked genes appear to be more protective. Based solely on what is currently known about type-2 diabetes genetics, native Africans would appear to be at higher risk for diabetes, while East Asians would appear to be protected.” – see also genetic risk world map|diabetes.

Skin color affects ability to empathize with pain“Humans are hardwired to feel another person’s pain. But they may feel less innate empathy if the other person’s skin color doesn’t match their own, a new study suggests.”

Motion quotient“A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain’s unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose brains are better at automatically suppressing background motion perform better on standard measures of intelligence.”

Yikes! Cockroaches Evolved to Avoid Sugary Baits – natural selection is really a nuisance!

Face Blindness – greg cochran on prosopagnosia. also: Is Brad Pitt’s Face Blindness For Real?

The Italian Invasion of American Culture – from steve sailer!

A response to two critical commentaries on Woodley, te Nijenhuis & Murphy (2013) – from woodley, te nijenhuis, & murphy @dr. james thompson’s blog. see also: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” – with respect to the claim of intelligence decline since Victorian times – from bruce charlton. (ftr, i never said either that woodley, et al., made an entirely “extraordinary claim,” or that i require any extraordinary evidence.) see previous posts here and here.

More population structure in the Netherlands (Lao et al. 2013)“Clinal distribution of human genomic diversity across the Netherlands despite archaeological evidence for genetic discontinuities in Dutch population history.” – from dienekes.

New Theory Claims Humans Hunted, Ate Neanderthals

Are There Atheists in Foxholes? Combat Intensity and Religious Behavior“Study 1 shows that as combat became more frightening, the percentage of soldiers who reported praying rose from 42% to 72%.”

Marketing to the Big Data Inside Us“In your DNA are clues to your health, your ancestry, and maybe even your purchasing preferences.” – h/t charles!

Heroes of the Dark Enlightenment @radish magazine!

Liberal Race Realism – A Brief Definition – from robert lindsay – h/t hbd bibliography!

Fight Clubs: On Napoleon Chagnon“One anthropologist’s place in his field’s ongoing battle over questions of power, means and ends.”

A Brief History of Mental Illness in Art.

New ‘atheist map’ of the world dominated by China where half the country’s population describes themselves as non-believers

Syphilis, sex and fear: How the French disease conquered the world“Researching the Borgias, Sarah Dunant learnt how syphilis took Europe by storm during the 1490s, and the far reaching effects it’s had ever since.” – previously: stds and miiiind control.

bonus: Genuinely, unironically, shocked – from mr. mangan.

bonus bonus: Viruses and mucus team up to ward off bacteria“Phages may play unforeseen role in immune protection.”

bonus bonus bonus: Dog sniffs out grammar“A border collie takes command of sentence rules.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus: 2-Child Limit for Muslims in Parts of Myanmar – burmese eugenics.

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: The Multiple Origins of Wine Grapes

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: What the heck is this strange red rectangle doing in our galaxy?

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

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20 Comments

  1. “Study 1 shows that as combat became more frightening, the percentage of soldiers who reported praying rose from 42% to 72%.”

    Praying acts as a sedative and painkiller imo. You might need religiosity genes for it to work though.

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  2. @ The Thomas Carlyle Club for Young Reactionaries (Students Against a Democratic Society): “Heroes of the Dark Enlightenment, unite! The Carlyle Club is pleased to present Part 1 of the first-ever guide to neoreaction’s heroic personalities.”

    How not to promote oneself. (For instance I hope nbd*chick is not against a democratic society.)

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  3. Chick, this may be worth keeping an eye on relative to your interests –

    http://www.nature.com/news/science-on-the-silk-road-taste-for-adventure-1.11178

    Gasparini, tall and genial, had spent most of his scientific life studying the genetics of isolated communities in dead-end valleys of the Italian Alps. He had become interested in the genetics of food preferences, was consulting with food companies, and had been dreaming vaguely of accessing remote, isolated populations in more grandiose mountain chains in Asia or South America, where scientists have rarely ventured.

    Such populations were often founded by just a few people who went on to marry within the group, so their descendants tend to be genetically homogeneous. This makes it easier to work out if a gene variant is associated with a particular characteristic, such as a taste preference, than it is in a large, genetically diverse group.

    The main focus is dietary genetics, but it seems like they’ve also been gathering a lot of data on the rather “inbred” or “clannish” groups of the Silk Road, which might useful for testing your hypothesis.

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  4. Re: Diabetes’ genetic underpinnings can vary based on ethnic background-

    I initially thought this was strange in light of the kind of common result that (http://aadi.joslin.org/content/diabetes-asians-asian-americans) “Despite having a lower body weight, Asian Americans are more likely than Caucasians to have diabetes. Diabetes is a rapidly growing health challenge among Asians and Pacific Islanders who have immigrated to the United States, affecting about 10 percent of Asian Americans; about 90 to 95 percent of Asians with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.”

    But then reading the article Butte pointed out that “East Asians definitely get diabetes. What we would argue is that diabetes may be a different disease” in East Asian populations. An interactive tool that displays the results can be found at http://geneworld.stanford.edu/hgdp.html.

    They found that at baseline, Africans had higher insulin resistance but were able to compensate with higher insulin secretion. East Asians were more likely to have less insulin-secretion ability, but this was compensated by having normal insulin resistance. Caucasians fell between these two groups, though they were more likely to develop problems with insulin secretion.

    The researchers showed that because individuals from each ethnic group start at a different baseline position, they each reach diabetes in a different way: Africans through increased insulin resistance, and East Asians through lower insulin-secretion ability. “Africans are already pretty insulin resistant,” Butte said. “They need their beta cells to work really hard. If their cells fail, that’s how they head toward diabetes.” East Asians, in contrast, “don’t have a lot of spare capacity to secrete more insulin.”

    East Asians seem like they have more of a broken and inefficient insulin secretion pathway but cells have evolved to be more responsive or efficient. I think it would be interesting to examine the diabesity and insulin resistance theories of obesity in light of this.

    That’s kind of an interesting pattern they describe as well, with Asians and Africans being opposed while Caucasians are intermediate but more along the Asian end of the spectrum. It mirrors the neutral genetics to an extent, is interesting in contrast to lots of phenotypic traits which don’t.

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  5. Re: 2-Child Limit for Muslims in Parts of Myanmar, South African whites saw a similar population boom in blacks in South Africa. They didn’t do anything.

    I guess Myanmar Buddhists don’t want to wind up groveling in hopeless squalor or being murdered like Boer farmers while the Muslim head of government rocks to “Shoot – shoot – shoot the Buddhist!”

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  6. Matt
    “Gasparini, tall and genial, had spent most of his scientific life studying the genetics of isolated communities in dead-end valleys of the Italian Alps.”

    That sounds very interesting.

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  7. Are we to believe that the relationship regarding empathy between Italians and Africans is perfectly symmetrical? And they don’t even make a point of that? It would be interesting to read the original article (which I will next time I visit the library). My guess is that Italians feel more empathy for Africans than vice versa due to being more tribal (although the degree might depend on where in Africa the participants come from).

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  8. After the sugar no longer served them, they turned to making cockroach traps that killed any cockroach that could not qualify for Mensa. It was the turning point in the history of their world – which was soon our world.

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  9. That Genetic Risk World Map is an amazing find – thanks for sharing, will be quite handy.

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  10. “Diabetes’ genetic underpinnings can vary based on ethnic background, Stanford studies say”

    This is an interesting paper. With regard to HLA, there doesn’t appear to be such a strong role played by HLA in type 2 diabetes in different ethnic groups as compared to its association with type 1 diabetes, although a number of alleles have been implicated. Relevant to this is a new paper looking at HLA alleles and their association with type 2 diabetes in the Han Chinese:

    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2013/452537/

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  11. @Melykin: “Some tribes of North American natives have very high rates of type 2 diabetes.”

    One of the HLA alleles implicated with susceptibility to type 2 diabetes in the Han Chinese in the paper which I provided a link to above, was DQA1*05:01. This allele is found at extremely high frequency in a number of Amerindian groups. See:-
    http://www.allelefrequencies.net/hla6006a.asp?hla_locus_type=Classical&hla_locus=DQA1&hla_allele1=DQA1*05%3A01&hla_allele2=DQA1*05%3A01&hla_selection=&hla_pop_selection=&hla_population=&hla_country=&hla_dataset=&hla_region=&hla_ethnic=&hla_study=&hla_order=order_2&hla_sample_size_pattern=equal&hla_sample_size=&hla_sample_year_pattern=equal&hla_sample_year=&hla_level_pattern=equal&hla_level=&hla_show=

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  12. @luke – “For instance I hope nbd*chick is not against a democratic society.”

    depends on when you ask me that. on the day after The People do something really, really dumb — like elect george bush (either one) or barack obama to the presidency — then, yeah — i’m all for ending democracy! (~_^) (remember, though, that it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind….)

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  13. @staffan – “Are we to believe that the relationship regarding empathy between Italians and Africans is perfectly symmetrical?”

    good point! i didn’t think of that when saw the article/posted the link.

    @staffan – “It would be interesting to read the original article (which I will next time I visit the library). My guess is that Italians feel more empathy for Africans than vice versa due to being more tribal (although the degree might depend on where in Africa the participants come from).”

    let us know what you find! (^_^)

    Reply

  14. Thanks Harold.

    It seems they actually found a perfect symmetry in empathy reactions after all, as far as I can tell not being a neuroscientist myself. Italians also scored higher on implicit bias. Another thing, for what it’s worth, is that the correlation between implicit bias and empathic reaction was stronger for Africans, 0.7 versus 0.5 for Italians.

    I’m a bit surprised, although it may depend on what Africans we are talking about. Also, Italians have a bit of a bad reputation for their anti-African sentiment here in Europe so this may not hold for all Europeans. But if it does, and the Africans are from some clanish region, then I would have to rethink things for sure.

    Reply

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