linkfest – 11/28/13

‘Rare’ Gene Common in African Descendants, May Contribute to Heart Disease“Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have found that a genetic variation that is linked to increased levels of triglycerides — fats in the blood associated with disorders such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and stroke — is far more common than previously believed and disproportionally affects people of African ancestry…. The finding offers a clue as to why Africans and people of African descent have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes compared to many other populations, says the study’s senior author, Dr. Ronald Crystal, chairman of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell. African Americans with the variant had, on average, 52 percent higher triglyceride levels compared with blacks in the study who did not have the variant…. The gene variant the scientists studied is a single point mutation — a replacement of one of DNA segment with another — in the ApoE gene, which carries fats and other molecules through the blood.” – h/t hbd bibliography!

A gene mutation for excessive alcohol drinking found“UK researchers have discovered a gene that regulates alcohol consumption and when faulty can cause excessive drinking…. [M]ice with a genetic mutation to the gene Gabrb1 overwhelmingly preferred drinking alcohol over water, choosing to consume almost 85% of their daily fluid as drinks containing alcohol…. Dr Quentin Anstee, Consultant Hepatologist at Newcastle University, joint lead author said: ‘It’s amazing to think that a small change in the code for just one gene can have such profound effects on complex behaviours like alcohol consumption.’ – see also Firewater from greg cochran.

Predicting Human Body Height from DNA“Predicting tall stature from these 180 DNA variants resulted in an accuracy of 0.75 on a scale from 0.5 (meaning random prediction) to 1.0 (completely accurate prediction). ‘Although the achieved DNA-based prediction accuracy for tall stature is still somewhat lower than we previously established for eye color, hair color and age,’ said Kayser, ‘I expect that upcoming new knowledge on height genetics will further increase the accuracy in predicting tall stature, and eventually the full range of body height, from DNA.'”

Study Connects Dots Between Genes, Human Behavior“The team studied individuals with a rare disorder known as Williams syndrome. By measuring neural activity in the brain associated with the distinct language skills and facial recognition abilities that are typical of the syndrome, they showed that Williams is due not to a single gene but to distinct subsets of genes, hinting that the syndrome is more complex than originally thought.”

Different Gene Expression in Male, Female Brains May Help Explain Brain Disorder Differences“UCL scientists have shown that there are widespread differences in how genes, the basic building blocks of the human body, are expressed in men and women’s brains. Based on post-mortem adult human brain and spinal cord samples from over 100 individuals, scientists at the UCL Institute of Neurology were able to study the expression of every gene in 12 brain regions…. They found that the way that the genes are expressed in the brains of men and women were different in all major brain regions and these differences involved 2.5% of all the genes expressed in the brain.” – h/t heartiste!

Only two genes maketh the man…or mouse“The defining genetic feature of maleness, the Y chromosome, contains only two genes that are absolutely essential for male function – at least in mice.” – “male function” = producing sperm, apparently. and taking out the garbage of course. (~_^)

Male facial masculinity as a cue to health outcomes“Although both attractiveness and rated health were associated with better actual health in the past and future (mainly indexed by lower antibiotic use), results were mixed for masculinity. With respect to respiratory illnesses, facial masculinity (assessed using morphometric techniques) was associated with better past health but with worse future health.” – h/t hbd bibliography!

HPV: Sex, cancer and a virus“Human papillomavirus is causing a new form of head and neck cancer — leaving researchers scrambling to understand risk factors, tests and treatments.” – h/t john durant!

Gut bacteria could make cancer treatments more effective, researchers find“[M]ice with reduced levels of bacteria in their gut were less responsive to treatments than mice that had a normal microbiota.”

When We Lose Antibiotics, Here’s Everything Else We’ll Lose Too – *gulp* =/

Arroyo del Vizcaíno, Uruguay: a fossil-rich 30-ka-old megafaunal locality with cut-marked bones – evidence for humans in uruguay 30,000 years ago? hunting giant sloths?

Who Built Serpent Mound? – dunno.

Sexual selection on the American frontier – re. nineteenth century mormons – from jason collins.

Jealousy in a small-scale, natural fertility population: the roles of paternity, investment and love in jealous response – jealousy rates in a non-w.e.i.r.d. population (the himba of namibia) – “In this population, the majority of both men and women report greater distress over a sexual infidelity, with men reaching an almost unanimous consensus (96%). Despite the skew for both men and women, there is a significant sex difference in the direction predicted by the evolutionary hypothesis….” – h/t andrew badenoch!

Study examines potential evolutionary role of ‘sexual regret’ in human survival and reproduction“[The results] suggest that men are more likely to regret not taking action on a potential liaison, and women are more remorseful for engaging in one-time liaisons.”

A Hot Wife Means A Happier Marriage“[M]en are happier with attractive women and women don’t care as much about men’s looks. Stop the goddamned presses! You mean men and women are…*GASP*…different?” – @chateau heartiste. (^_^) – original research article.

Oxytocin leads to monogamy: Hormone stimulates the brain reward system when viewing the partnerthe luuuuuuuuv hormone! (^_^)

Promiscuous mouse moms bear sexier sons“Males make more pheromone if mama had access to many mates”

We can’t ignore the evidence: genes affect social mobility“Why do so many people fail to accept the overwhelming evidence that genes contribute to academic achievement and thereby social status?” – h/t ed west!

The Sour Grapes of Pisa – from staffan.

The envirome and the connectome: exploring the structural noise in the human brain associated with socioeconomic deprivation – from neuroskeptic: “People from deprived parts of Glasgow have brains that are more ‘random’ structurally than those from rich areas.” – and from jayman: “Of course IQ has nothing to do with it… ;)”

Poor people’s poor sense – from the awesome epigone.

Meat, egg and dairy nutrient essential for brain development“Asparagine, found in foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products, was until now considered non-essential because it is produced naturally by the body. Researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital found that the amino acid is essential for normal brain development. This is not the case for other organs.”

Different rates of first admissions for psychosis in migrant groups in Paris“Our findings suggest that Sub-Saharan migrants were identified as the most vulnerable migrant group for developing psychosis in France, but additional work is warranted to confirm these trends.” – h/t neuroskeptic! – see also Redneck Psychiatrists from greg cochran.

Nations of Canada – from jayman.

Another Look at ‘The Rise of the West’ – But With Better Numbers“The North Sea begins to diverge from the rest of Europe long before the ‘West’ begins its more famous split from ‘the rest….’ [W]e can pin point the beginning of this ‘little divergence’ with greater detail. In 1348 Holland’s GDP per capita was $876. England’s was $777. In less than 60 years time Holland’s jumps to $1,245 and England’s to 1090. The North Sea’s revolutionary divergence started at this time.” – from t.greer.

When it comes to diversity, most of us vote with our feet“Liberals are almost as likely to flee diversity as conservatives, according to new research by Prof Eric Kaufmann for Demos. Some 61 per cent of white people who were ‘very comfortable’ with mixed marriages (the best indicator of views on race) moved to whiter areas during the period, compared to 64 per cent of those who were ‘fairly uncomfortable’.” – from “utterly sh** in every way” ed west.

Race, Race, Race, Race, Race, Race, Race, Race, Race“*Race is real*. In aggregate, human populations *differ*. Because of those differences, their interests can differ, too — and that can lead to various kinds of unpleasantness. Birds of a feather, whether we approve or not, still tend to flock together.” – from malcolm pollack.

How to have a sensible conversation about immigration“The poor of the world are on the move, eager to live and work in rich nations. What are the consequences? Talking about them cannot be a taboo.” – h/t steve sailer!

3 Reasons Diversity Isn’t Working – @theden.

How Britain became ashamed of being Great: Major new book argues liberal self-loathing threatens the values that define our nation – a MUST READ from daniel hannan! buy the book, too: How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters.

Study: Having daughters makes parents more likely to be Republican – i thought it was democrats? – and on that note: Does Having Sisters Make You Conservative? – h/t avi tuschman!

Atheists get sweaty when daring God“When you get anxious or emotionally aroused, you sweat. Not a lot, but enough to be detected using electrodes on the finger tips. And it turns out that if you take a bunch of atheists, and get them to dare god to do horrible things, they get sweaty.” – heh! (really small sample size, tho.) – h/t anatoly!

The brains of high functioning autistic individuals do not synchronize with those of others“Our ISC [InterSubject Correlations-ISCs] results suggest that the minds of ASD individuals do not ‘tick together’ with others while perceiving identical dynamic social interactions.” – no kidding?! (~_^)

Cleansing the scientific literature – from peter frost. see also Danish Progress in Suppressing Thoughtcrime from helian.

In Israel, a Push to Screen for Cancer Gene Leaves Many Conflicted“The country has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the world, according to a World Health Organization report. And some leading scientists here are advocating what may be the first national screening campaign to test women for cancer-causing genetic mutations common among Jews — tests that are already forcing young women to make agonizing choices about what they want to know, when they want to know it and what to do with the information.”

The Neuroscientist Who Discovered He Was a Psychopath – h/t naturalismo!

10,000-year-old house uncovered outside Jerusalem“‘Here we have evidence of man’s transition to permanent dwellings'” – cool!

Here’s why wine snobs should probably be called bacteria snobs“Differences in wine quality between vineyards have long been attributed to processing techniques and seasonal variation. But research now suggests that regional differences between wines are shaped by microbes — specifically, fungi and bacteria. Cultivating certain grape microbes may actually improve wine flavor.”

bonus: FDA may begin seizing [23andMe] home DNA testing kits – losers. (the fda, i mean.)

bonus bonus: Do We Live in the Matrix? – yes.

bonus bonus bonus: Economics of Violence: What would it cost you if you didn’t fight back?“In my 30 years of researching violence, every victim of violence who lived to tell the tale said they had a ‘bad feeling’ before the actual attack…. If an alarm goes off, respond to it. Got a bad feeling? Address it. Something nagging at you? Stop and look into it. Don’t ignore these signals. Don’t rationalize and mentally correct them. Don’t dismiss them without assessing them. Your body is built for survival and one of its hard-wired systems is designed to alert you to danger.” – h/t mr. mangan, esq!

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Sexual violence in gang neighbourhoods [in the u.k] is ‘like that in war zones’ with girls as young as 11 being groomed and raped” – =/

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Latest restaurant receipt hoax – from chuck @gucci little piggy.

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Banks Warn Fed They May Have To Start Charging Depositors – =/ – h/t charles!

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Over 50,000 illegal Ethiopian workers sent home from Saudi Arabia

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Fabulous example of helpful Muslims in the UK: solving local blood feud – terrific. =/ – from frau katze.

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: China’s rich fleeing the country — with their fortunes – h/t randall parker! – also: China’s villages vanish amind rush for the cities.

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Man sells testicle so he can buy a Nissan 370Z – (o_O)

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: We’d rather eat turkey“Thanksgiving is that very special holiday when we take a break from our hectic everyday lives to spend quality time with our loved ones, rediscovering all the reasons why we don’t actually live with them.” – (~_^) – from dave barry.

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


  1. Now that the fat-and-cholesterol theory of heart disease is in retreat, will that triglyceride study look obsolete?


  2. “complex behaviours like alcohol consumption”: what in God’s name is complex about it? Every moron in the pub can do it, and half of them couldn’t add two and three.


  3. cut-marked bones? Maybe this relates to the fact that the leading Uruguayan footballer (= soccer player) in the English Premier League is famous for biting his opponents.


  4. I’m just filling in while Americans become comatose from turkey and trimmings. Good for them. But we had lamb for dinner, which I have to tell you is much superior.


  5. thank you for the heads up on daniel hannan’s book – it has a different title in the US – “inventing freedom: how the english-speaking peoples made the modern world” – please note, it is being compared to “America 3.0” whose esteemed co-author Michael J. Lotus posted a cogent comment on your (esteemed) blog just the other day! his was the first comment under “kinship, the state, & violence” 11/25/2013 — & dearieme is right, of course, lamb is better :)


  6. HB, I feel as if the fever has broken. I’m still hugely worried about the proposed Common Purpose project in the UK and the Intolerance definition and restrictions proposed by the EU but your tweets have really made a difference. I imagine a certain someone will be sitting at his kitchen table asking his (very cute) little dog how come he never thought of that.

    The time is coming when you will be able to cast off your catsuit and reveal all! ;-)

    (I look forward to your first lecture tour in the UK and if you want a guide to take you anywhere you only have to ask, we could go up Pendle if you like and I’ll show you where my exceptional father grew up).

    Two economists go walking in the lake district and a mist comes down. when it clears they’re lost so they get out their map – ‘Ah!’, one says to the other, ‘…according to the map, we’re on that hill over there’.

    [just a thought – christians have a habit of eating what they revere? – wine, bread, lamb, turkey]


  7. More on faces here — there’s a mystery to solve:

    Why are women and girls more skilled at recognizing faces? And why are they particularly skilled at recognizing their own gender? Herlitz and Lovén hypothesize that the tendency for females to recognize other females may be related to gender labeling and gender-typed imitations (for example, toy preferences at a young age), which results in girls orienting themselves towards other females, which in turn leads to more individuation experience with female faces: “… [T]there is some evidence suggesting that the female advantage in face recognition and the female own-gender bias develop during the early years, but additional research confirming this hypothesis is needed.”

    Who Are You Looking At? Why Women Recognise More Faces Than Men


  8. From “Why Diversity Isn’t Working” comes this gem, a quote from diversicrat training.

    “Finally, staff should be prepared to be economical with the truth when asked by pupils what their favourite colour is and, in the interests of good race relations, answer “black” or “brown”.

    “Economical with the truth!”

    I bet their fingertips sweat when they say that.


  9. @dearieme – “I’m just filling in while Americans become comatose from turkey and trimmings. Good for them.”

    heh! (^_^) thanks for stepping into the breach!

    @dearieme – “But we had lamb for dinner, which I have to tell you is much superior.”

    true. and they’re cute, too! (~_^)


  10. @panjoomby – “thank you for the heads up on daniel hannan’s book – it has a different title in the US – ‘inventing freedom: how the english-speaking peoples made the modern world'”

    well that’s very confusing. they have to cut that out!

    here’s the link to the u.s. [kindle] version then on amazon:

    Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World

    @panjoomby – “…on your (esteemed) blog….”

    awww, shucks! (*^_^*)


  11. @bnkate – “The time is coming when you will be able to cast off your catsuit and reveal all! ;-)”

    rawwwwr! (~_^)

    @bnkate – “Two economists go walking in the lake district and a mist comes down. when it clears they’re lost so they get out their map – ‘Ah!’, one says to the other, ‘…according to the map, we’re on that hill over there’.”

    (^_^) (^_^) (^_^)


  12. “By greatly narrowing the specific genes involved in social disorders, our findings will help uncover targets for treatment and provide measures by which these and other treatments are successful in alleviating the desperation of autism, anxiety and other disorders,” says Korenberg.

    This review Lady Korenberg clearly shows what is fundamentally wrong with modern psychiatry . The tremendous emphasis that mental health professionals give the socialization is really scary . In fact , I have to agree that without social and interactive process, the human species has not evolved to the level it reached , but there is at what price ?
    Not long ago, Alan Turing was monstrously castrated despite their enormous scientific contributions .
    First , I do not really believe there is something, despair , among a lot of the neuro-different population. The main and real despair of them is called socialization. Much of the psychological problems are not caused by genes , but by so-called normal people . People who are genetically susceptible to changes of the environment would be like those exotic plants that get sick first , signaling that the harmony of the environment was broken .
    I wonder if the effects of medicines to regularize the ability of a holder of asperger pretending to empathize with others ( like most social relationships are built ) could not have the same negative effects is the creative ability of a person with disorder bipolar or ADHD .
    Psychology , scientifically now safeguarded by neuroscience , continues his crusade against natural dissent, and as the holder of the parameters of normality and before, do not be like a cow in a pasture, was epistemologically considered a disease , now there MRIs to prove such normality and lack thereof . Thereafter , if a person has a low IQ but is exceptional in empathy and musical ability , she has a defect in the brain that prevents it to become normal.
    Let’s try to stop these dualistic concepts of normal and abnormal, Mexico and USA, are primarily human constructions , there is no real boundary that separates us from these people , it will always be a spectrum .
    If they are able to repair the alleged defect of lack of empathy between autistics , so I would think the day that the same kind neuroscientists will find the genes that cause racism , especially among certain hbd scientists , and manufacturing medicine to heal these defects of socialization .
    I’m not totally dismissing the neuroscience here, please. Indeed, the discovery of these genes may help eg low-functioning autistic and people with down syndrome to improve their intellectual aptitude, the second if they wish.
    But it is extremely necessary to hard science, leaving aside, of course depending on the case, its strong tendency for conceptual dualism, because yes, it has been largely responsible for the genocides that have happened, even in the hands of idiots and maniacs.
    I live in a country where most people, normal, are extremely anti-intellectual and pedantic. No doubt it is not very different in rich countries.
    We should create functional communities and work to where the real empathy, I believe that people with asperger’s, for example, are able to develop, can happen spontaneously and even where the alleged lack of functionality could be improved chance of them masses of anencephalic technically subservient were removed from their gatherings.


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