linkfest – 10/07/13

Ethics: Taboo genetics and Dangerous work – not very subtle careful or you won’t ever be able to find work in this town again “advice” from the invertebrates @nature (no offense to invertebrates elsewhere). see also: steve hsu, steve sailer, and dr. james thompson. previously: alternate nature poll.

Genomics England“This project will sequence the personal DNA code – known as a genome – of up to 100,000 patients over the next five years.”

Your Genome Is a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland“Your 25,000 genes reside in a genetic landscape littered with the rubble of ancient and ongoing battles with hordes of viruses, clone armies of genetic parasites, and zombie genes that should be dead but aren’t. Our messy genomic landscape is a dynamic, miniature ecosystem, and scientists are learning how its inhabitants play a big role in human health and disease.”

Morality and the Perspicuity of the True Believers“Consider, for example, a piece Dennis Prager just wrote for National Review Online, packaged as ‘A Response to Richard Dawkins.’ Prager cuts to the chase with the following: ‘If there is no God, the labels “good” and “evil” are merely opinions. They are substitutes for “I like it” and “I don’t like it.” They are not objective realities.’ Thank you, Mr. Prager. I couldn’t have said it better myself.” (^_^) – from helian.

Debate on Evolution of Multicellular Organisms Starts to Gain Focus“Cassandra Extavour and her colleagues, who study the origins of multicellular organisms and the evolution of cooperation, still disagree on the meaning of key concepts such as cooperation, competition and fitness.”

Let the good times roll?“The Frogs have had it rougher than the Canucks.” – from greg cochran. see also: French Canadians: The unexplained genetic diversity from peter frost.

Migration from Sweden to Poland during the Early Bronze Age“‘”Over 3800 years ago, a young male, possibly born in Skåne, made a journey of over 900 kilometers south, to Wroclaw in Poland. He died violently in Wroclaw, killed by Úněticean farmers, possibly due to romance with two local females, who were murdered together with him.”‘” @dienekes’.

Please Pass the Microbes“Once the animal had been processed more or less, I was amazed to see all three [hadza] men take a handful of the partially digested plant material from the recently removed stomach to scrub off the copious amounts of blood that now covered there hands and foreman’s. This was followed by a final ‘cleaning’ with dry grass for good measure. While I was fascinated by the microbe-laden stomach contents being used as hand scrubber – presumably transferring an extraordinary diversity of microbes from the Impala gut to the hands of the Hadza – I was not prepared for what they did next….” – you’ve GOT to read this! (^_^) – h/t john durant!

First physical evidence of why you’re an owl or a lark“They found a reduction in the integrity of night owls’ white matter – brain tissue largely comprised of fatty insulating material that speeds up the transmission of nerve signals – in areas associated with depression. ‘We think this could be caused by the fact that late chronotypes suffer from this permanent jet lag,’ says Rosenberg, although she cautions that further studies are needed to confirm cause and effect.”

Human brain boiled in its skull lasted 4000 years“Seyitömer Höyük – the Bronze Age settlement in western Turkey where this brain was found – is not in the mountains. So how did brain tissue survive in four skeletons dug up there between 2006 and 2011?”

Alien DNA could be ‘recreated’ on earth“Humans will be able to recreate alien life forms and ‘print out’ organisms using the biological equivalent of a 3D printer in the future, a DNA pioneer has predicted.” – craig venter.

Loci number and group difference“This paper shows that the debate about ‘variation within races is bigger than variation between races’ depends largely on the number of loci being analysed, and the assumptions being made about the significance of the revealed differences.” – from dr. james thompson.

Social Constructs are Social Constructs – heh. (^_^) – @handle’s haus. h/t konkvistador!

Human Hair Confirmed in Prehistoric Hyena Feces“The fossilized dung, part of a ‘hyena latrine,’ will be described in the upcoming October issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science…. Our ancestors there lived around a literally wild bunch about 257,000 years ago.” – #PaleoDiet! (O_O)

The earliest art predated humans – h/t psychtweet!

Why Clans Persist (h/t hbd bibliography!) and What Overcame the Clan in England? (h/t t.greer!) – on mark weiner‘s The Rule of the Clan and bennett and lotusAmerica 3.0.

Mapping the Road to American Disunion and A Second Great Depression? – from jayman.

Testosterone Promotes Reciprocity in the Absence of Competition – in women. h/t charles!

The Fat-Fueled Brain: Unnatural or Advantageous? – ketogenic diet @scientific american. h/t neuroskeptic! and speaking of diet: How one in ten could be wheat intolerant – but not even know. If you’re feeling bloated or are always tired, you might be a victim of this hidden epidemic.

Oxytocin Makes Other Faces Look More Pleasant – @futurepundit.

Mothers of Autistic Children: Lower Plasma Levels of Oxytocin and Arg-Vasopressin and a Higher Level of Testosterone [pdf] – h/t simon baron cohen!

Large study concludes LSD and other psychedelics reduce risk of mental health problems – peyote, ftw! (stay away from that krokodil sh*t, tho. (O_O) )

Academic fraud in China is getting out of hand“In a few short years, China has metamorphosed from a middling contributor to scientific knowledge into one of the most prolific research entities on the planet. But the country’s meteoric ascent to scientific prominence – widely attributed to a flawed incentive system – has given unintentional rise to a lucrative industry of academic fakery.” – see also: Looks good on paper @the economist.

Poll Shows Major Shift in Identity of U.S. Jews“The first major survey of American Jews in more than 10 years finds a significant rise in those who are not religious, marry outside the faith and are not raising their children Jewish — resulting in rapid assimilation that is sweeping through every branch of Judaism except the Orthodox.”

Electric Shock Therapy May Cut Crime By Stimulating Brain Region For Social Norm Compliance“An original way to reduce crimes rates could lie in regulating neural activity in a person’s front of the brain — right lateral prefrontal cortex. Scientists from the University of Zurich have found a brain mechanism responsible for social norm compliance is separate from the processes that represents a person’s knowledge and beliefs about societal norms. The neurons in this specific brain region may be controlled by electric shock therapy which could potentially stop criminals from breaking the law….” – see also: Brain Stimulation Can Control Compliance with Social Norms“Human beings are utterly dependent on a complex social structure for their survival. Since all behavior is controlled by the brain, human beings may have evolved specialized neural circuits that are responsible for compliance with society’s rules.” h/t михаи́л анисимов!

News Flash: Science proves important people pay less attention to unimportant people – from steve sailer.

Ah, There’s Nothing Like New Baby Smell – meh.

8,000 Year Old Evidence of Human Activity Found in Alps

20 Roman-era skulls uncovered beneath a London railway station may have belonged to decapitated 1st century rebels – some of boudicca’s crew?

Melting Snow Reveals Ancient Bow and Arrows in Norway“A melting patch of ancient snow in the mountains of Norway has revealed a bow and arrows likely used by hunters to kill reindeer as long ago as 5,400 years.”

bonus: Female Fruit Flies Like One Mate, or His Brother

bonus bonus: Cockroaches have neighborhoods, too

bonus bonus bonus: Pakistan quake highlights Balochistan ethnic fractures“Villagers in Teertaj turned away soldiers when they arrived after the quake with tents and food supplies.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Are Greek Neo-Nazi Mercenaires Fighting For Assad In Syria? – terrific. =/ – h/t ed west!

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Roma gypsy gang sold their women for stealing skills and children were used like conscripts in a criminal army, French court told at start trial

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: where are my dragons?!

(note: comments do not require an email. my dragon?! (^_^))


linkfest – 11/20/11

Parasites drove human genetic variation“Adapting to pathogens was more important than climate and diet in driving natural selection.”

Neanderthals ‘hit by globalisation’“Neanderthals may have vanished after being swallowed up by Stone Age ‘globalisation’, according to a new theory. Rather than being driven into extinction, they lost their identity after interbreeding with early modern humans and adopting their culture, it is claimed.”

Neanderthal Neuroscience – @the loom.

Oral contraceptive use is associated with prostate cancer: an ecological study“A significant association between OCs and PCa has been shown. It is hypothesised that the OC effect may be mediated through environmental oestrogen levels; this novel concept is worth further investigation.” – oops.

Intelligence across childhood in relation to illegal drug use in adulthood: 1970 British Cohort Study“High childhood IQ may increase the risk of illegal drug use in adolescence and adulthood.”

Frequent gamers have brain differences, study finds“They couldn’t determine if the frequent gamers’ brains grew larger as a result of playing video games or if those kids were attracted to gaming because that part of their brain was enlarged in the first place….” – quite so.

Brain scans of happy people show they respond more positively to their environment

Study Finds Link Between Low IQ, Large Waistline“More men with low intelligence scores at 18 had unhealthy belly size at 40”

Six Black Russians – heh. from greg cochran.

HBD, Left, and Right – @altright.

bonus: Antarctic mountain mystery solved

bonus bonus: Swedish scientists create light from almost nothing

(note: comments do not require an email. black russians?)

the more things change…

just read “forty years among the zulu” (via mefi) by nineteenth century missionary to south africa, josiah tyler:

josiah and his wife, susan, managed to raise six children of their own while proselytizing to the zulu in the mid-1800s. I wonder where their decendants are today.

here’s a little excerpt (pgs. 122-23):

“Another filthy and baneful Zulu practice [in addition to polygamy and excessive beer drinking] is smoking wild hemp. This weed, easily cultivated in South Africa, abounding particularly in old deserted kraal spots, has a narcotic and even intoxicating effect, similar to that of Indian hemp. Sometimes it is smoked in combination with tobacco, but frequently alone. The pipe used is peculiar, being the horn of an ox or large antelope with a hole about six inches from the largest end. Into this hole a reed is inserted, varying from five to eight inches in length, and where the junction is formed gum is used to render it water tight. At the upper end of the reed is attached a small soapstone bowl, in which is place the hemp together with a live coal. The horn having been previously filled with water the smoker places his mouth at the top, inhaling with all his might the smoke that passes through the water. Having inhaled as much as he can, he closes his mouth, and with a small reed squirts the saliva upon the floor of the hut, making figures of cattle and various objects. In every kraal is found a pipe of the above description. Women do not smoke, but frequently small boys obtain access to the pipe.

“Gregarious by nature, Zulus love to assemble for a grand smoke, and as the pipe is passed from one to another it is not uncommon for the smoker who has taken too much to fall on the floor full length in a state of unconsciousness. If death does not occur, his nervous system is fearfully prostrated. So injurious is this practice to body and soul that the most reliable native Christians coincide with their spiritual guides in the propriety of a church law prohibiting it on penalty of expulsion.”

and another (pgs. 188-89):

“In bodily strength Zulus surpass the Indian and average European. The heavy burdens they carry often attract attention. An Englishman, seeing a woman about to raise to her head a load which he felt sure he could not lift, said, ‘You don’t think you can carry that, do you?’ She replied, ‘Were I a man I could not, but I am a woman.’ I have watched gangs of fifty or more young men carrying on their backs huge sacks of acacia bark, weighing not far from two hundred pounds, and rolling them into the hold of a steamship, apparently not suffering in the least from the effort.

“For swiftness in running, as well as power of endurance, they are remarkable. For years men were employed by the Natal government to transport ponderous mail bags from the seaport to the colonial capital, a distance of fifty miles. Leaving at sundown, they might be seen the next morning on the steps of the post office, bright and happy, and ready, after a few hours’ rest, to return with the same speed. They travel with bare feet, and their soles, being thickened by constant use over rough roads, possess emphatically a pecuniary advantage over leather….

“In contrasting Zulus with American negroes I perceive a marked difference. The former, as a race, are taller and more muscular, with loftier foreheads, higher heekbones, and a pleasanter expression of countenance. Their lips are not so thick, nor are their noses so flat. In color some of them bear a striking resemblance, but among the Zulus, Arabic features, not seen in other dark-skinned African races, are occasionally distinguishable. At their homes the men are neat and tidy, in their way, bathing frequently, washing their hands after every meal and before milking. They invariably rinse their teeth after eating, which accounts for their clean, ivory-like appearance.”

previously: turning japanese