a linkfest! =D
Experimental evolution reveals hidden diversity in evolutionary pathways – “Our findings show that parallel genetic evolution is strongly biased by constraints and we reveal the genetic bases. From such knowledge, and in instances where new phenotypes arise via gene activation, we suggest a set of principles: evolution proceeds firstly via pathways subject to negative regulation, then via promoter mutations and gene fusions, and finally via activation by intragenic gain-of-function mutations. These principles inform evolutionary forecasting and have relevance to interpreting the diverse array of mutations associated with clinically identical instances of disease in humans.”
Selectionism Strikes Back! – from razib.
Genomes carry a heavy burden – “Most people’s DNA contains genetic mutations that are potentially lethal to offspring…. Most people carry one or two genetic mutations that can cause early death or infertility in their offspring….”
World’s oldest stone tools discovered in Kenya – “Researchers…say they have found the oldest tools made by human ancestors — stone flakes dated to 3.3 million years ago. That’s 700,000 years older than the oldest-known tools to date, suggesting that our ancestors were crafting tools several hundred thousand years before our genus Homo arrived on the scene. If correct, the new evidence could confirm disputed claims for very early tool use, and it suggests that ancient australopithecines like the famed ‘Lucy’ may have fashioned stone tools, too.”
Neandertal flutes debunked – @dienekes’.
IQ prediction from structural MRI – from steve hsu. see also: MRI-Based Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Estimation with Sparse Learning.
New brain science shows poor kids have smaller brains than affluent kids – see also: Credit, where credit is due, to Lyndsey Layton and Income, brain, race: Prof Kimberly Noble replies and Howitzer or Katyusha: Reply to Prof Noble at dr. james thompson’s blog. – and see also: In today’s social science, wishing makes it so – from charles murray.
Gene study may explain why some remain quick thinkers – “Genetic differences could explain why some people are quicker thinkers in middle age and later life, a study of data from 30,000 people suggests.” – see also: GWAS for executive function and processing speed suggests involvement of the CADM2 gene.
Prediction of brain age suggests accelerated atrophy after traumatic brain injury – h/t stuart ritchie! who tweeted: “Super-cool new paper on how to predict someone’s age just from a brain image (r = .92!)”
In the beginning was the Word – dr. james thompson blogs on the recent woodley et al. paper “By their words ye shall know them: Evidence of genetic selection against general intelligence and concurrent environmental enrichment in vocabulary usage since the mid 19th century.”
Born That Way – from greg cochran.
Female Same-Sex Attraction Revisited – from jayman.
Examining the S factor in Mexican states – from emil kirkegaard.
Sex differences and vulnerability: how the male-female divide affects health – “[S]ome studies have shown that premature baby girls will grow up to suffer greater language deficits than premature boys, whereas boys exposed to certain prenatal toxins will suffer greater deficits to spatial skills than girls similarly exposed, but because sex differences were never the original focus of the research no one, until Geary, has united these sex specific developmental problems and placed them in evolution’s bigger picture. Geary explains, ‘Sexually selected traits are the first to go; for example, low level exposure to prenatal toxins will affect play in boys but not their IQ: if you don’t measure the right thing you will fail to detect underlying problems.'” – h/t steve stewart williams!
Men up to five times more likely to commit sex crimes than the average male if they have brother or father convicted of a sex offence – h/t claire lehmann! who tweeted: “Survey of 21,566 men convicted of sex crimes from 1973- 2009 has revealed a strong genetic component to sex offending.” – see also: Sexual offending runs in families: A 37-year nationwide study.
Aggressive-Antisocial Boys Develop Into Physically Strong Young Men – “We found that males’ antisocial tendencies temporally precede their physical formidability. Boys, but not girls, with greater antisocial tendencies in childhood attained larger increases in physical strength between the ages of 11 and 17. These results support sexual selection theory, indicating an adaptive congruence between male-typical behavioral dispositions and subsequent physical masculinization during puberty.”
Childhood Self-Control and Unemployment Throughout the Life Span: Evidence From Two British Cohort Studies – “Analyzing unemployment data from two nationally representative British cohorts (N = 16,780), we found that low self-control in childhood was associated with the emergence and persistence of unemployment across four decades. On average, a 1-SD increase in self-control was associated with a reduction in the probability of unemployment of 1.4 percentage points after adjustment for intelligence, social class, and gender.”
Enlisting in the Military: The Influential Role of Genetic Factors – “Given that enlistment in the U.S. military is completely voluntary, there has been a great deal of interest in identifying the various factors that might explain why some people join the military, whereas others do not. The current study expanded on this line of literature by estimating the extent to which genetic and environmental factors explained variance in the liability for lifetime participation in the military. Analysis of twin pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) revealed that 82% of the variance was the result of genetic factors, 18% of the variance was the result of nonshared environmental factors, and none of the variance was accounted for by shared environmental factors.” – from brian boutwell et al.
Risk of Suicide Among US Military Service Members Following Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom Deployment and Separation From the US Military – “Findings do not support an association between deployment and suicide mortality in this cohort. Early military separation (<4 years) and discharge that is not honorable were suicide risk factors.” – h/t michael story!
Verbal ability as a predictor of political preferences in the United States, 1974–2012 – “[H]igher vocabulary scores are associated with a greater likelihood that people place themselves on the ideological and political spectrum and that they vote in presidential elections, but have only small relationships with liberal-versus-conservative self-identification.”
More on the younger Franz Boas – from peter frost.
Chimps That Hunt Offer a New View on Evolution – “[A] 10-year study of chimpanzees in Senegal shows females playing an unexpectedly big role in hunting and males, surprisingly, letting smaller and weaker hunters keep their prey. The results do not overturn the idea of dominant male hunters, said Jill D. Pruetz of Iowa State University, who led the study. But they may offer a new frame of reference on hunting, tools and human evolution. ‘We need to broaden our perspective,’ she said.”
Upper Palaeolithic ritualistic cannibalism at Gough’s Cave (Somerset, UK): The human remains from head to toe – “Our present analysis of the postcrania has identified a far greater degree of human modification than recorded in earlier studies. We identify extensive evidence for defleshing, disarticulation, chewing, crushing of spongy bone, and the cracking of bones to extract marrow. The presence of human tooth marks on many of the postcranial bones provides incontrovertible evidence for cannibalism.”
Yes, You Can Catch Insanity – “A controversial disease revives the debate about the immune system and mental illness.” – pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders or “PANDAS”.
Colors help set body’s internal clock – “[Mice] use light’s changing color to set their own clocks, a finding that researchers expect will hold for humans, too.”
The Myth of the Angry Atheist – “[T]hese results support the idea that people believe atheists are angry individuals, but they do not appear to be angrier than other individuals in reality.”
Flowers Are “Darker” at Lower Latitudes – “UV radiation may explain why plants and animals closer to the equator come in darker varieties.”
The Disease That Turned Us Into Genetic-Information Junkies – brief history on tay–sachs disease research.
Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Could Predate Antibiotics – “A South American tribe, called the Yanomami, which was isolated for about 11,000 years prior to 2009, have gut bacteria that carry antibiotic resistance genes, according to new research. The Yanomami’s microbiome is far more diverse than that of Europeans or North Americans, but it also contains antibiotic resistant genes, despite never having had antibiotics. The findings suggest antibiotic resistance predates antibiotics, although it is possible the Yanomami ingested naturally occurring antibiotics in soil at some point.” – see also: The microbiome of uncontacted Amerindians.
Rotherham Worker ‘Told To Give Girls To Abusers’ – “The ex-protection worker says she repeatedly raised concerns about men taking girls away but her boss told her to ‘let them go’.” – also: State wards being groomed for prostitution by paedophile gangs – “Organised gangs of paedophiles are grooming state wards as young as 12 for prostitution. Veteran child protection workers have told the Herald Sun they are powerless to protect the children in their care and that the sexual exploitation of state wards is ‘endemic’…. Victoria Police has set up a taskforce to investigate a gang of Afghani men in Dandenong suspected of preying on teens in care.” – australia now. =/
bonus: Jurassic Park in real life: The race to modify the DNA of endangered animals and resurrect extinct ones – “Professor Church has applied a sophisticated and revolutionary ‘gene editing’ technique known as Crispr and has managed to get it working in elephant cells to carry out 14 precise changes to its genome. ‘We are now working on in vitro organogenesis [organ formation] and embryogenesis [embryo formation],’ he told The Independent in an email.”
bonus bonus: Genome Digest – findings from genomes of mountain gorilla, pseudomonas aeruginosa, canary, bird flu strain, and leprosy bacterium.
bonus bonus bonus: Through This Chemical Loop, Dogs Win Our Hearts
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