linkfest – 11/13/13

oops! it happened again. =/

Deletion of Any Single Gene Provokes Mutations Elsewhere in the Genome“Johns Hopkins researchers report that the deletion of any single gene in yeast cells puts pressure on the organism’s genome to compensate, leading to a mutation in another gene…. ‘The deletion of any given gene usually results in one, or sometimes two, specific genes being “warped” in response….'”

Self-heal like Wolverine? Gene discovery might hold clues“In a discovery by a Harvard researcher, a reactivated gene found in embryos helps mice regrow clipped parts of their ears and toes. Could the ‘fountain of youth’ gene hold promise for humans too?” – i want one! – h/t mike anissimov!

Gene Variants Up CKD [chronic kidney disease] Risk in Blacks“A high-risk genetic variant conferred a significantly increased risk of progressive kidney disease in African Americans, at least partly explaining a racial disparity in end-stage renal disease (ESRD), investigators reported here. Analysis of black and white patients in another trial — half with diabetes — showed kidney function declined almost three times as fast in blacks with the high-risk APOL1 profile as compared with whites….”

Genetic clue to high heart risk of black Americans“The gene that produces the protein [PC-TP which activates a clotting factor called PAR4] is four times more active in the platelets of black Americans than it is in white Americans.” – h/t hbd bibliography!

Europeans and South Asians share by descent SLC24A5 light skin allele“‘We date the coalescence of the light skin associated allele at 22–28 KYA. Both our sequence and genome-wide genotype data confirm that this gene has been a target for positive selection among Europeans. However, the latter also shows additional evidence of selection in populations of the Middle East, Central Asia, Pakistan and North India but not in South India.'” – @dienekes’.

The ancestors with no descendants“On the eve of the last ice age, Siberia was home to a people who were related to modern Europeans and Amerindians but not to modern native Siberians. So concludes an analysis of DNA from the remains of a boy who lived 24,000 years ago at Mal’ta near Lake Baikal, Siberia…. [T]he Mal’ta people probably looked very much like native Indians with a more European skull shape, perhaps like the Ainu of northern Japan or the Kennewick humans of North America.”

Political colour is half genetic“New study provides definitive evidence that heritability plays a significant role in the formation of political ideology, regardless of how ideology is measured, the time period or population sampled.” – @ScienceNordic.com – the photo caption is pretty funny/telling: “Imagine if scientists could identify the ‘liberal’ genes and genetically modify babies so that they all voted liberal when they grow up? Brave new world?” (and the first comment is priceless!) – h/t ray sawhill!

It’s not just conservatives that support discrimination against their ideological foes“‘Discrimination by liberals has received scant attention in the literature, despite this being a prevalent concern in conservative rhetoric. By only examining conservative biases, social scientists fail to fully explore political intolerance in America. This research helps fill that gap….’ When opposing groups were seen as violating core values, liberals were just as likely to support discrimination against same-sex marriage opponents, religious fundamentalists, Tea Party protestors, and prolife people as were conservatives against feminists, atheists, leftist protestors, and prochoice people.”

Politics Has an Odor“[C]onservatives are significantly more likely than liberals to detect [bitter tasting] PTC [phenylthiocarbamide].” – h/t jayman!

Study: Your brain sees things you don’t“Our brains perceive objects in everyday life of which we may never be aware, a study finds, challenging currently accepted models about how the brain processes visual information.”

New evidence on the biological basis of highly impulsive and aggressive behaviors“Physical and chemical changes in the brain during development can potentially play a role in some delinquent and deviant behaviors.”

Root of maths genius sought“Entrepreneur’s ‘Project Einstein’ taps 400 top academics for their DNA.”

Has a 15-year-old explained the Flynn Effect? – on elijah amstrong and michael woodley’s newly published paper! – from steve sailer.

Is young Woodley down for the count? – never! (^_^) – from dr. james thompson.

Religions of the American Nations“[T]hese differences [regional cultural and political divisions in america] stem from the *genetic* differences in the descendants of these initial settlers (suffused with the genes of subsequent immigrants, particularly in the old North).” – from jayman.

In Hookups, Inequality Still Reigns“[A] study of 24,000 students at 21 colleges over five years found that about 40 percent of women had an orgasm during their last hookup involving intercourse, while 80 percent of men did.” – h/t john durant!

The Co-Villains Behind Obesity’s Rise“Not everyone, however, has the same gut bacteria. And, interestingly, the composition of this bacteria correlates with obesity…. [T]he bacteria study found that the ‘obese gut bacteria’ had an impact only when the mice were fed diets heavy in saturated fats.” – h/t jayman!

Rich Chinese Couples Turning To American Surrogates For Easier Immigration And ‘Designer Babies’“Another factor that has some Chinese couples choosing American surrogates is a desire for ‘designer babies.’ While most couples still use their own eggs and sperm, making the child biologically theirs, Reuters reports that more and more people are open to egg donation, to get what some clients believe are smarter and better-looking children. ‘Lots of clients that are Chinese do use tall, blond donors,’ Jennifer Garcia, who works at Extraordinary Conception in California, where 40 percent of clients are Chinese, said in the report.” – h/t mark krikorian!

CRISPR gene therapy: Scientists call for more public debate around breakthrough technique“‘I’m sure there will be some concern about the possibility that the technology could be used for “enhancement” rather than repair, veering from medicine towards eugenics,’ [professor wells] warned.” – oh noes! not “enhancement”! *swoon!* h/t anatoly!

Should state education be abolished?“New York City adopting Finland’s education system is not going to make New York like Finland…. In the game of life the dice are loaded and trying to make teachers responsible for making life fair is deluded and unfair to them….” – from ed west.

Shaker Heights – from greg cochran.

John Derbyshire’s Modest Proposal On Politics and Intelligence“And the too-dumb-to-vote segment is only a part of the problem we conservatives have with universal suffrage. Here’s another part: too *smart* to vote…. At the very highest levels of intelligence, the correlation between IQ and sensible political opinions may actually be *inverse*: the more brilliant you are, the dumber your politics. Albert Einstein thought well of Stalin; Hitlerism got its first mass following in the highly-selective German universities.”

Amid austerity and debt, Denmark remains happiest nation“The second pillar of happiness is a high level of trust between people, even for a stranger on the street….” – crazy danes! (~_^)

Introducing the Mongol Project“‘I will now tell you all about the Tartars and how they acquired their empire and spread throughout the world.'” – excellent! – from t.greer.

Early uses of chili peppers in Mexico“Chili peppers may have been used to make spicy beverages thousands of years ago in Mexico….”

Case of Insect Interruptus Yields a Rare Fossil Find“[T]he oldest fossil of two insects copulating.” – 165 million years old!

This Is How Much Money You’ll Make Based on Your Personality – d*mn. =/

bonus: Another Word for “Holocaust”“[O]ne would have to be smoking banana peels dipped in formaldehyde and sprinkled with PCP to assert that both events [the holocaust and the holodomor] receive a similar amount of attention in Western media and academia.” – from jim goad. of course.

bonus bonus: Swedish cinemas launch feminist movie rating – hahahahahaha!!! heh. wait. (*hbd chick wipes tears from eyes*) heh. – “To get an ‘A’ rating, a movie must pass the so-called Bechdel test, which means it must have at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man….” – hahahahahaha!! – “The entire ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, all ‘Star Wars’ movies, ‘The Social Network,’ ‘Pulp Fiction’ and all but one of the ‘Harry Potter’ movies fail this test,” – so, except for The Social Network, all of my faves. this is going to be a REALLY handy movie rating system. whatever movies they FAIL, i will go see! (^_^)

bonus bonus bonus: Strange Doings on the Sun“Sunspots, Which Can Harm Electronics on Earth, Are Half the Number Expected” – ruh roh.

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Large magma reservoir gets bigger – ruh roh.

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: This amazing fruit fly evolved to have pictures of ants on its wings – srsly! – h/t jayman!

(note: comments do not require an email. rupee – first dog to climb mt. everest. woof!)

31 Comments

  1. Film is about fantasy but feminism even more so it seems. And yet feminism manages to be so boring.

    I think it relates to what you what you talked about earlier, the two dimension nerd and geeks. It seems people who are very nerdy and into politics end up in extreme and principal-based positions like feminism, marxism, libertarianism. The principals shall be obeyed no matter what the reality. I think it’s some kind of autism. Even when they are into science they turn out like that politically (SJ Gould and his friends for instance). If you have to be all nerd or all geek, I guess all geek is healthier. Although all geek could be like a hoarder I guess…but still better in my view.

    Reply

  2. Slumlord,

    ENTJs are also those who deserve their success because they treat people good, work hard, improve things and don’t cheat.

    Reply

  3. That fly is amazing. I don’t think the pictures on its wings resemble ants, they look more like some species of wasp to me.

    Reply

  4. Not that I am convinced of the gut flora hypothesis behind obesity, yet. It seems hard to reconcile a microorganism-led cause with the incredibly high heritability of obesity, at least for now.

    For the record, in case you see news reports that GCTAs have shown that obesity is less heritable than twin/adoption studies suggest, note now that the research says no such thing. It only indicates that the additive heritability is around 0.4, which is no big surprised. The rest is non-additive, which we knew.

    See here

    and

    here

    Journalists shouldn’t be allowed near research findings at times.

    Reply

  5. The gut bacteria thing always drives me nuts, it seems so clearly to demonstrate correlation rather than causation. Of course you’re going to have healthy person microflora if you’re eating healthy person foods. What you feed the colony will determine which bacteria thrive. Change your diet and I’m thinking the gut bacteria will change also. Now I do wonder if there isn’t some feedback going on there though. I have the suspicion that bacteria that eat sugar really like you to eat sugar and may emit chemical signals that cause a person to want more sugar. It would make sense if they did, but I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case.

    I am not stunned at all to learn that INFPs make less money. We’re far more likely to seek employment in the arts or as social workers and we tend to eschew money, possessions and status. This is all true of me, however I do actually make more than that scale even shows, largely because I talked my way into a Rational’s job title (Enterprise software developer.) I’m not the best developer there ever was but I do deal with our customers a thousand times better due to actually being able to understand their needs, unlike my peers. I work as hard as anyone else, and get as much done, but I have no interest in the technology itself, it’s just a way to pay the bills. I’m hoping my art/writing will eventually work out so I can do that full-time, but not because I want to ‘make it big’ just so I could have more time to do it, the expression is what’s important to me, not money.

    Also, I wonder if you actually are an INFP HBD Chick. I say that because you’re pretty rational in your writing and blog focus and I’ve noticed that rationals tend to be the least self aware group. They have strong emotions that they struggle with sometimes so they’ll think they are an F instead of a T but when it comes down to how they act, how they make decisions: they live rationally rather than emotionally and tend to have lower agreeableness on the OCEAN. (whereas my agreeableness is 70+). So I’d guess your T vs F is a very slight F, and maybe ought to be a T, making you INTP. You just strike me more as a rational than an Idealist.

    ~S

    Reply

  6. re: “It’s not just conservatives that support discrimination against their ideological foes”

    My comment:

    The kind of “discrimination” the author seems to be writing about is the kind that used to be considered a positive attribute, as when we speak of someone having a discriminating taste (for friends, art, wine, literature, wit, ideas, etc). It’s opposite is someone who is undiscriminating, i.e., someone without judgment or any taste at all.

    It’s time we stopped demonizing a quality used to distinguish between the good and the bad and all the grades in between. While there may be no disputing of taste, that is “discrimination” in the very worst sense.

    Reply

  7. @ jayman – “Not that I am convinced of the gut flora hypothesis behind obesity, yet. It seems hard to reconcile a microorganism-led cause with the incredibly high heritability of obesity, at least for now.”

    HLA genes which confer resistance or susceptibility to autoimmune diseases are heritable. Certain groups among modern day human populations are at greater risk of gut dysbiosis through diet and lifestyle factors which can compromise their immune system: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v474/n7351/full/nature10213.html
    If they possess a particular HLA allele which happens to confer susceptiblity to obesity then this could explain the heritability aspect in conjunction with the adverse gut flora.

    Reply

  8. “Genetic clue to high heart risk of black Americans”: clearly it’s my turn to sneer “But race is a social construct”.

    Reply

  9. “Amid austerity and debt, Denmark remains happiest nation – “The second pillar of happiness is a high level of trust between people, even for a stranger on the street….”

    What’s the betting Danes have the highest pullme-pushyou score (number of people within a certain degree of relatedness to any individual minus the number outside that range).

    (Difference between them and other Northern Euro countries combo of small size, historical religous homogeneity, hajnal and no mountains. Only one with all four i think.)

    .

    “At the very highest levels of intelligence, the correlation between IQ and sensible political opinions may actually be *inverse*: the more brilliant you are, the dumber your politics.”

    A lot of intellectuals like to be different from the common sense of the common mass so they can look down on them. If the majority of any culture’s “common sense” is wrong then this effect means the intelligentsia will be mostly right. If the majority of any culture’s “common sense” is *right* then the intelligentsia will be mostly wrong.

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  10. @sisyphean – “Also, I wonder if you actually are an INFP HBD Chick. I say that because you’re pretty rational in your writing and blog focus and I’ve noticed that rationals tend to be the least self aware group. They have strong emotions that they struggle with sometimes so they’ll think they are an F instead of a T but when it comes down to how they act, how they make decisions: they live rationally rather than emotionally and tend to have lower agreeableness on the OCEAN. (whereas my agreeableness is 70+). So I’d guess your T vs F is a very slight F, and maybe ought to be a T, making you INTP. You just strike me more as a rational than an Idealist.”

    the first time i took a myers-briggs test — and i’ve only ever taken silly online ones — was about maybe 10 years ago? and my score on the F/T measure was only three points plus into F. i’ve taken the test a couple times since then, and i’ve never hit the T — i always get the F, but i’m always just into the F range.

    so my rational, thinking side is strong. i am rather a borderline case, i think. (^_^)

    but my infp side is stronger, trust me. this description of an infp — the idealist — is soooo me! this part (which is so me) generates a lot of laughter here at home (it’s so true):

    “When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet.”

    (~_^)

    for most of my life, i’ve felt strongly that i could approach problems/make decisions based either on thinking or on how i felt about a matter. i’ve always felt those were two really distinct mindsets for me — that i could place myself in. i’ve never met anyone else who said they experienced that. ever since i first took the myers-briggs test, i’ve concluded it’s because i’m such a borderline infp/intp.

    Reply

  11. Nope u are not alone in those 2 “distinct” mindsets….happen to me quite often, especially in matter where u are socially supposed to go by gut feeling (love, sex, friendship, partying, drinking, drugs,….). And usually I indeed go by gut because it is the best way to enjoy the ride….but doing so often have the strong feeling that there is an analytical part of me that keep observing (often cynically) what happen and is always offering an alternative, more rational way to analyze/behaves. It could be nice, it is a kind of a safety net against some stupid mistakes but Its also a little bit strange, because I am not sure if it is common (it may be that it is common, but few admit this type of behavior…I certainly usually don’t ;-) ). Frankly I wonder if it is not borderline psychopathic, it partially fit the description of psychopathy I have found, without most of the nastiness…

    Reply

  12. @ greying wanderer – ” If the majority of any culture’s “common sense” is wrong then this effect means the intelligentsia will be mostly right. If the majority of any culture’s “common sense” is *right* then the intelligentsia will be mostly wrong.”

    This is true.

    Reply

  13. I’ve always suspected that you are something like ISTP. Which seems to be the type of the rebel aspie. You could be INTP but they tend to be more theoretical and much less empirical. It’s like the nerd/geek dimension where nerd is T and geek is S and I suspect you are more of a geek than a nerd.

    That said, I only know your internet persona, and I kind of like the idea of geeky girls – the more the merrier : )

    Reply

  14. @ Jayman –

    Poor gut health [which has many causes] can suppress thyroid function. Hypothyroidism can lead to obesity. And there are a number of HLA alleles [which are heritable] that confer susceptibility to autoimmune thyroid disorders.

    Reply

  15. @gorb – “I love you.”

    love you back! (^_^)

    (you…you…you completely anonymous person on the other end of the internet who i know absolutely nothing about and who could, for all i know, be some sort of really scary psycho-killer…omg. ruh-roh! (~_^) )

    Reply

  16. @jayman – from one of your tweets: “Broad-sense heritability from twins still 0.80”

    well, that about clinches it. (if it’s replicated, yada, yada, yada.)

    Reply

  17. @sisyphean – “I have the suspicion that bacteria that eat sugar really like you to eat sugar and may emit chemical signals that cause a person to want more sugar.”

    yes, i’ve been wondering that, too. (i do so love the whole concept of miiiind control by microbes! (~_^) )

    and we’re not alone in wondering this. from that same nyt article:

    “Perhaps most interestingly, changing biology may even be changing cravings. Some biologists have hypothesized that our gut bacteria actually drive cravings for certain unhealthy foods.”

    i hope teh scientists research this more! (^_^)

    Reply

  18. @chris – “Certain groups among modern day human populations are at greater risk of gut dysbiosis through diet and lifestyle factors which can compromise their immune system…. If they possess a particular HLA allele which happens to confer susceptiblity to obesity then this could explain the heritability aspect in conjunction with the adverse gut flora.”

    oh! interesting!

    Reply

  19. @grey – “the highest pullme-pushyou score…number of people within a certain degree of relatedness to any individual minus the number outside that range….”

    oh! i like the equation!

    pk – pa = pps

    where k=a certain kinship coefficient (fourth cousins and closer?) and a=all remaining.

    pps obviously = pullme-pushyou score. (^_^)

    Reply

  20. @kai – “Nope u are not alone in those 2 ‘distinct’ mindsets….”

    oh, good! (^_^) you are the first person i’ve ever met(?) who understood what i was talking about (wrt this).

    @kai – “Frankly I wonder if it is not borderline psychopathic, it partially fit the description of psychopathy I have found, without most of the nastiness…”

    i’ve wondered that, too. there is, though, a lot of overlap or similarity between thinking patterns of autists and socio-/psychopaths.

    Reply

  21. @staffan – “I’ve always suspected that you are something like ISTP. Which seems to be the type of the rebel aspie.”

    no, i’m not an S at all! (not that there’s anything wrong with that! (~_^) )

    this, for instance (from here):

    “They typically have strong powers of reasoning, although they’re not interested in theories or concepts unless they can see a practical application.”

    i’m all about theories. i love theoretical thinking for its own sake — i usually have to push myself to think about the practical applications.

    or this:

    “ISTPs are action-oriented people. They like to be up and about, doing things. They are not people to sit behind a desk all day….”

    heh! no. not action-oriented at all. (*^_^*) when i was a kid, if my mother ever lost track of me at the shopping mall, she knew exactly where to find me: the nearest bookstore. (nerd.) i’ll sit behind a desk all day — and do! — as long as i’m hooked to the internet (or have some good books). (~_^) (did i mention that as a kid i used to sit in my closet and read? heh! with the door open, mind you. i’m not THAT crazy!)

    i’m this:

    “[T]heir great passion is to heal the conflicts that trouble individuals, or that divide groups, and thus to bring wholeness, or health, to themselves, their loved ones, and their community.”

    i know that most people think of hbd’ers as evil racists, but i really DO want to use hbd knowledge to make the world a better place for everyone. i know it sounds queer, but it’s true.

    no. this is really me. really. except i’m awfully close to INTP:

    “They typically are so strongly driven to turn problems into logical explanations, that they live much of their lives within their own heads, and may not place as much importance or value on the external world. Their natural drive to turn theories into concrete understanding may turn into a feeling of personal responsibility to solve theoretical problems, and help society move towards a higher understanding.”

    heh. so silly! (^_^)

    @staffan – “That said, I only know your internet persona, and I kind of like the idea of geeky girls – the more the merrier : )”

    yes, i am projecting a bit of a persona online here. it’s me, but it’s not quite me. (shhhhh! don’t tell anybody! (~_^) )

    btw, if the difference between geek and nerd is that geeks are collectors, then i’m not much of a geek at all (however much i like the word). i actually don’t own a SINGLE star wars — or any other fandom — item. i own the movies, but that’s it. not even a t-shirt. (although i’m thinking of rectifying that…. (~_^) )

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  22. Bechdel test: whatever movies they FAIL, i will go see! (^_^)

    Ah, but of the ratio of good movies to bad, Bechdel test OK movies may be better. Reverse Bechdel test, seems worse than the original (apropos of nothing in particular, this is something I can actually imagine the laughable MRA and PUA morons pursuing).

    Derbyshire: At the very highest levels of intelligence, the correlation between IQ and sensible political opinions may actually be *inverse*: the more brilliant you are, the dumber your politics.

    Maybe not true exactly, but very intelligent people can go deeper into the thicket of theory.

    And lots of theories do not necessarily go in a vector that lines up with reality.
    Same is true for people of average intelligence who go too deep into theory, but rather worse for them, as their low natural intelligence stops them being able to go “Wait, what?”.

    It might not be the case that there are people who are too intelligent for politics, but people who are too politically interested in politics, for politics. Ban people who read dense books of political theory, argue about it online and yet fail knowledge tests on history and the economy? It’s the thicket of theory you want them out of, not intelligence.

    At the very highest levels of intelligence, the correlation between IQ and sensible political opinions may actually be inverse: the more brilliant you are, the dumber your politics. Albert Einstein thought well of Stalin; Hitlerism got its first mass following in the highly-selective German universities.

    Hmm… Albert Einstein’s views on Stalin may have been no difference from the average unintellectually impressive Jew of his generation and background, while if Hitlerism got its first mass following from the intelligent, the great mass of the unintelligent seem to have been certainly no check on this.

    There is a dimension of truth though – see also “Libertarians” and John von Neumann.

    I’ll leave it to our constitutional experts to decide where the cutoff should be. If we put it at two standard deviations from the mean [58], we’d be excluding four percent of the voting-age population. At one standard deviation, we’d be excluding 32 percent, which would be more to my liking.

    Makes me hope this is more wholly Swiftian satire than it seems, because this effect, if present, is not so strong.

    In any case, highly intelligent people affect the political process by being campaign managers, civil servants, lobbyists, judges and politicians, not by “voting”.

    Reply

  23. Hitting your linkfest late HBD Chick.

    Discovered the chili pepper link didn’t connect so I went to the site, noticed this:

    On a population level, the researchers found that the “high-sensitivity” variant for salicin was more prevalent in individuals from East Africa than in those from West Central or Central Africa, and non-Africans possessed only the “high-sensitivity” version of the gene.

    “Penn team elucidates evolution of bitter taste sensitivity”

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-11/uop-pte111113.php

    Reply

  24. I would have guessed INTP as well! Source? I’m an INTP, and share the same confounding factors that can skew F vs T (female, nerdy and curious, reasonably bright, guessing I would have been diagnosed with Aspergers if I was a few years younger because “my mother had me tested” for autism in the 80’s).

    The INFP characteristics you mention strongly identifying with (theory-oriented, oblivious to surroundings, hyper-focus) are hallmarks of the INTP! I suspect you’re confusing the “instant knowing” of intuition with the “value weighted by emotions” of feeling. Also, no F would be as intrigued by cousin-marriage as you seem to be. (No judgements, just saying.)

    Which would your family/friends have been more terrified to see your teenaged self reading – The Fountainhead or a PETA brochure?

    Join us, we have cake. Or uh.. think about it? (^_~)

    Reply

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