linkfest – 12/01/14

look! another linkfest! (^_^)

Our Cats, Ourselves“Which brings us to the genome of one critical tame animal: ourselves, humans. The Nobel Prize-winning zoologist Konrad Z. Lorenz once suggested that humans were subject to the same dynamics of domestication. Our brain and body sizes peaked during the end of the last ice age, and declined with the spread of agriculture…. Our cultural flexibility and creativity since the end of the ice age have not freed humans from evolutionary forces, but have opened up novel and startling paths. Thinking of domestication as an evolutionary process that occurs through ‘artificial’ selection creates a false dichotomy of nurture and nature that plays into a conceit of human exceptionalism. In fact, the idea that we are apart from nature, that it is ours to tame and exploit, is an outmoded approach. A more useful interpretation is that over the past 10,000 years, humans fashioned their own ecosystem. We were part of a natural process that altered the landscape…. The same forces that reshaped the genomes of our domesticates also reshaped ours.” – from razib. in the new york times! (^_^)

Ancient Easter Islanders Interbred With Native Americans“According to the recent study conducted by geneticists, the ancient inhabitants of Easter Island met and interbred with Native Americans long before Westerners arrived…. The recent genetic study is published on Thursday in the Current Biology journal. According to the study, these ancient people had significant contact with Native Americans hundreds of years ago, before the westerners reached the Island in 1722…. The finding of the study suggests that the intermixing occurred 19 to 23 generations ago. The researchers said that the Polynesian people (Rapa Nui’s) are not believed to have started mixing with Europeans until much later, the 19th century. Malaspinas said the genetic ancestry of today’s Rapa Nui people is roughly 75% Polynesian, 15% European and 10% Native American.”

Barley fuelled farmers’ spread onto Tibetan plateau“Cold-tolerant crop enabled high-altitude agriculture some 3,600 years ago”

Faster than Fisher“[M]igration and conquest, must explain the wide distribution of many geographically widespread selective sweeps and partial sweeps. They were adaptive, all right, but expanded much faster than possible from purely local diffusion.” – from greg cochran.

The Germ of Laziness – also from greg cochran.

Putting IBD to Bed – from razib.

The Red Queen Model of Recombination Hotspots Evolution in the Light of Archaic and Modern Human Genomes – h/t mwpennell! who tweeted: “Recombination hotspots in humans appear to be young…evidence for Red Queen theory for evolution of recombination?”

Inclusive fitness and sexual conflict: How population structure can modulate the battle of the sexes – h/t rebecca sear!

Do Chinese people get bored less easily?“Advanced farming — intensive land use, task specialization, monoculture — has profoundly shaped East Asian societies, particularly China. This is particularly so for rice farming. Because the paddies need standing water, rice farmers must work collectively to build, dredge, and drain elaborate irrigation networks. Wheat farming, by comparison, requires no irrigation and only half as much work. Advanced farming seems to have favored a special package of predispositions and inclinations, including greater acceptance of monotony. This has been shown in two recent studies.” – from peter frost.

Culture and state boredom: A comparison between European Canadians and Chinese“European Canadians (vs. Chinese) are more likely to experience state boredom.” – h/t erwin schmidt!

Gender differences in preferences, choices, and outcomes: SMPY longitudinal study“The figures show significant gender differences in life and career preferences, which affect choices and outcomes *even after ability is controlled for*…. According to the results, SMPY men are more concerned with money, prestige, success, creating or inventing something with impact, etc. SMPY women prefer time and work flexibility, want to give back to the community, and are less comfortable advocating unpopular ideas. Some of these asymmetries are at the 0.5 SD level or greater.” – from steve hsu.

Are liberals and conservatives differently wired? – also from peter frost.

Detecting ‘polygenes’ using signals of polygenic selection. Tools for increasing the power of GWAS – from davide piffer who tweeted: “Watson and Venter’s genomes have higher frequency of intelligence polygenenes.”

Intelligence lost at 1.23 IQ points per decade“Michael Woodley of Menie spends much of his time tending his ancestral estate, pacing the linen-fold panelled rooms of the ancient house, warming his hands at the towering stone fireplace and meditating on the collapse of the aristocracy, the paucity of contemporary innovation and the lamentable and persistent downward drift of the national intellect. Now he sends me a barefoot runner with his latest manuscript, which I have read as the autumn mists creep across the Nadder valley, before penning this reply for the poor urchin to carry back to his master. Young Woodley avers that, not only are we going to hell in a handcart, but we are doing so at a pace which he can predict with some accuracy (1.23 IQ points per decade), composed as it is of two dysgenic effects: the dull have been reproducing with greater fecundity than the bright (.39), and increasing paternal age has increased the rate of deleterious mutations (.84).” – from dr. james thompson.

Gypsy intelligence – also from dr. james thompson.

Lower Body Symmetry and Running Performance in Elite Jamaican Track and Field Athletes – h/t keith laws! who tweeted: “More symmetrical knees & ankles in Elite Jamaican track and field athletes…Of course…”

Great Ape Origins of Personality Maturation and Sex Differences: A Study of Orangutans and Chimpanzees

The Case Against Early Cancer Detection“[C]ancer screening may harm more people than it helps.” – h/t jason collins!

In the U.S., Few Heavy Drinkers Are Actually Alcoholics“About 90 percent of people who drink excessively — more than eight drinks a week for women, 15 for men — are not alcohol dependent.” – h/t ray sawhill!

Genes tell new story: Alcohol in moderation only benefits 15% of population“An alcoholic beverage a day, especially wine, is widely believed to help keep heart disease risk low, but new research from the University of Gothenburg shows that only about 15% of the human population — those with a specific the form of the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene — actually gain this benefit from moderate alcohol consumption.”

The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis“What a growing body of research reveals about the biology of human happiness — and how to navigate the (temporary) slump in middle age.”

Despite its problems, the United States of America is still the best. Thing. Ever.“Other aspects of America’s story, though, seem less important now that the quest for racial equality has become almost a religious mission; this week I finally got around to watching the HBO series John Adams, which begins with the Massachusetts lawyer defending Captain Thomas Preston, the officer blamed for the Boston massacre. The mob wanted to avenge the deaths but, this being a colony where people passionately believed in their ancestral English liberties, ‘due process’ was followed – a term that dates back to the Parliament of Edward III but was obviously influenced by Clause 39 of the Magna Carta. Due process is what was followed in the Ferguson case, but maybe that’s just a boring old racist Anglo-Saxon idea that we can forget about now (grand juries are literally Anglo-Saxon, dating back to the reign of Ethelred II, or possibly the vibrant culturally-enriching Viking maniac King Canute).” – from ed west.

Children are not science projects“What do we tell to prospective adoptive parents? The first answer, and the only answer that ultimately counts, is that they are doing the Lord’s work. They have the opportunity to provide love and nurturing to a child who needs it. There are few better things that human beings can do with their time. The second answer is that they, like biological parents, are not miracle-workers. They will be unable to mold the child. Sometimes their adopted child will experience problems that are not the adoptive parents’ fault; sometimes they will reveal gifts of talent and character that are equally not to the adoptive parents’ credit. What is to the credit of good parents, adoptive and biological alike, is enfolding the child in love.” – from charles murray…who’s really just a big softie after all. (^_^) — see also: Adopt a child, but discard an illusion from dr. james thompson.

In Northern Ireland, a Wave of Immigrants Is Met With Fists – which came (or *should’ve* come) as a surprise to absolutely no one….

When exactly did the Industrial Revolution start?

Europe’s Bronze Age Collapse Not Caused by Climate Change

How Thanksgiving, the ‘Yankee Abolitionist Holiday,’ Won Over the South

Your Inner Feather“About 300 million years ago, our ancestors began to lay hard-shelled eggs. Those early animals would give rise to mammals, reptiles, and birds (collectively known as amniotes, named for the amniotic egg). Edwards and his colleagues found that the first amniotes already had the *entire* complement of feather patterning genes. That means you, as an amniote, have them too.” – cool!

Viruses as a Cure

Stop eating cats and dogs say animal rights campaigners in Switzerland“Cat appears on traditional Christmas menus in some areas of Switzerland.” – wait. what?!

bonus: Snakes are ‘righties’ — with their penis, that is

bonus bonus: Snakes Leave Identity Within Their Fang Marks“Getting a DNA swab from the fang marks of a snake bite can accurately identify the type of snake, a team working in Nepal has found.”

bonus bonus bonus: Monterey Bay researchers capture rare deep-sea anglerfish on video for first time – whoa!

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Ants Regularly Pack Up and Dig New Nests, and Nobody Knows Why

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Red Baron’s WWI German Fokker triplane rebuilt by flying enthusiast – oooo! pretty. (^_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. a face only a mother could love. maybe.)

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linkfest – 11/26/12

i should just move the linkfests to mondays … get it over with. (~_^) (then at some point i’d prolly switch to publishing them on wednesdays or thursdays … and eventually, someday, they’d migrate all the way back to sundays again!)

Are Liberal or Conservative Americans More Likely to Support Restrictions on Racist and Anti-Religious Speech?

Singapore is world’s least emotional country, poll finds – see also steve sailer (who is not the world’s least emotional country).

Does being fat make you more jolly?“The FTO gene makes a protein associated with obesity and fat mass…. [H]aving one copy of this mutant in your genome decreases the risk of depression by 8 per cent; two copies doubles that dip…. Based on its prevalence among ethnic groups, it should prevent 6.7 per cent of the cases of depression that would otherwise afflict Africans, 5.3 per cent of cases in Europeans, and 2.2 per cent in Chinese.”

Longer life link to low vitamin D – in some dutch people. h/t sean!

Meat, Cooked Foods Needed for Early Human Brain

The Evolutionary Mystery of Homosexuality – i know, i know. greg cochran would say there’s no mystery here. (~_^)

Conservatism is white men – from the awesome epigone.

Why Is Intelligence the Measure of Ultimate Human Worth? – from kanazawa.

Mitochondrial DNA in Ancient Human Populations of Europe (der Sarkissian 2011)“This work presents direct evidence that Mesolithic eastern Europeans belonged to the same Palaeolithic/Mesolithic genetic background as central and northern Europeans. It was also shown that prehistoric eastern Europeans were the recipients of multiple migrations from the East in prehistory that had not been previously detected and/or timed on the basis of modern mtDNA data. Ancient DNA also provided insights in the genetic history of European genetic outliers; the Saami, whose ancestral population still remain unidentified, and the Sardinians, whose genetic differentiation is proposed to be the result of mating isolation since at least the Bronze Age.” – @dienekes’.

Archaeologists discover 10,000 year-old home – in scotland.

People who live in tropics more likely to die seven years earlier“Overall mortality in the region was affected by disease, conflict, poverty and food insecurity….”

Improved Water Supplies In Africa Increase Poverty – ’cause of lower death rates. that s*cks. – from parapundit.

bonus: Fraud fighter: ‘Faked research is endemic in China’

bonus bonus: The Black Cat Analogy – from jayman!

bonus bonus bonus: Think twice before using “mankind” to mean “all humanity,” say scholars – scr*w that!

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Camel Genome Holds Desert Survival Secrets“[M]any of the Bactrian genome’s rapidly evolving genes regulate the metabolic pathway…. [C]amels can withstand massive blood glucose levels owing in part to changes in genes that are linked to type II diabetes in humans.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Larry Hagman: the superstar who made history“In 1991, a Bedouin tribe delayed its annual migration across the Sahara because its elders were not prepared to miss the last episode of Dallas.” – heh.

(note: comments do not require an email. baby camel – awwww!)

linkfest – 03/04/12

European Neanderthals Were On the Verge of Extinction Even Before the Arrival of Modern Humans“New findings from an international team of researchers show that most Neanderthals in Europe died off around 50,000 years ago.”

New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America“New archaeological evidence suggests that America was first discovered by Stone Age people from Europe – 10,000 years before the Siberian-originating ancestors of the American Indians set foot in the New World.” – who was here first? see also: Radical theory of first Americans places Stone Age Europeans in Delmarva 20,000 years ago

Firing My Own Bu-cannon – good one from john derbyshire!

Wealthy More Likely to Lie, Cheat: Researchers – tell us something we don’t know. (~_^)

Different bodies, different minds“[P]eople tend to prefer the things that they encounter on the same side as their dominant hand.”

Experts ‘taste wine differently from others’“A study has found that specialist oenophiles have a much more acute sense of taste than the rest of us – and it may even be in the genes.” – the wine experts found propylthiouracil to be really bitter.

Are Emotions Prophetic? – the “emotional oracle effect.”

The Greater Your Fear, the Larger the Spider“People who are afraid of spiders see the arachnids as bigger than they actually are, recent experiments have shown.” – or maybe they’re more afraid of spiders because they perceive them as larger?

Nearby chimpanzee populations show much greater genetic diversity than distant human populations“Surprisingly, even though all the chimpanzee populations lived in relatively close proximity, with the habitats of two groups separated only by a river, chimpanzees from different populations were substantially more different genetically than humans living on different continents.” – original paper: Genomic Tools for Evolution and Conservation in the Chimpanzee: Pan troglodytes ellioti Is a Genetically Distinct Population.

bonus: Plants have a memory of pests that spans generations – epigentic stuff!

(note: comments do not require an email. in vino veritas.)

linkfest – 02/26/12

In the genes, but which ones?“‘As is the case with other traits, like height, there are probably thousands of genes and their variants that are associated with intelligence…. And there may be other genetic effects beyond the single gene effects – there could be interactions between genes, there could be interactions between genes and the environment.'”

Drinking Alcohol Shrinks Critical Brain Regions in Genetically Vulnerable Mice“[D]opamine receptors, known as DRD2, may play a protective role against alcohol-induced brain damage.”

Racial differences in childhood myopia – from the inductivist.

Lactase Persistence and Understanding History – from henry harpending.

Rethinking the social structure of ancient Eurasian nomads: Current Anthropology research“[E]arly pastoral nomads grew distinct economies across the steppes and mountains of Eurasia and triggered the formation of some the earliest and most extensive networks of interaction in prehistory.”

The emoticon on your face“[R]esearchers are suggesting that happy and sad expressions are not basic, evolutionary responses that take the same form all over the world, but cultural categories that we create from a much more complex emotional reservoir.”

A Sip for the Ancestors: The True Story of Civilization’s Stumbling Debt to Beer and Fungus – great series! i recommend reading them all (links at the top of the article i linked to here). (^_^)

Zoologger: The bird that cares for its rival’s chicks

bonus: NASA Will Pay You to Eat Astronaut Food for 4 Months

bonus bonus: The Bruce effect – why some pregnant monkeys abort when new males arrive

bonus bonus bonus: Dead for 32,000 Years, an Arctic Plant Is Revived

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

linkfest – 06/19/11

New study supports Darwin’s hypothesis on competition between species“The researchers found that the frequency and speed of this extinction process — called competitive exclusion — was significantly greater between species that were more closely related.”

Breeding with Neanderthals helped humans go global

Facts Of The Matter – malcolm pollack on free [sic] will.

Ancestry plays vital role in nutrition and disease, study shows“Dietary recommendations made by major health organizations are typically generalized to multiple populations, but are often based on available data from studies that represent one or two human populations. With regard to PUFAs, the American Heart Association currently recommends that Americans increase dietary PUFA levels to 5 to 10 percent of dietary energy. Studies like these suggest that such recommendations may not apply or be healthy for all populations.”

Stature and robusticity during the Neolithic transition: population replacement, not necessarily declining health – @dienekes.

Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racism Claim“‘I just didn’t trust Gould,’ he [Ralph L. Holloway] said. ‘I had the feeling that his ideological stance was supreme. When the 1996 version of “The Mismeasure of Man” came and he never even bothered to mention Michael’s study, I just felt he was a charlatan.'” – from nicholas wade.

Real divorce statistics – @half sigma.

Early French had a taste for beer“New study unveils archaeobotanical evidence of beer brewing in Iron Age France”

Britain Is More Germanic than It Thinks

White adolescent girls may be losing sleep from the pressure to be thin“When results were divided and analyzed by ethnicity, these pressures to be skinny were significantly predictive of sleep duration for white girls, but not for black or Hispanic girls.”

Rule Breaker“The biology of ethics.”

Jews and Big 5 traits – @inductivist.

UK pupils ‘among least likely to overcome tough start’“Among countries, South Korea, Finland, Japan, Turkey and Canada are the most successful in terms of poorer pupils achieving high results. Among regional education systems, Shanghai and Hong Kong top this resilience league table – and are top of the overall rankings. The top five places overall are taken by regional or national school systems in Asia.” – via diversityischaos.

The Social Psychological Narrative — or — What Is Social Psychology, Anyway?

Honeybees Might Have Emotions“Honeybees have become the first invertebrates to exhibit pessimism, a benchmark cognitive trait supposedly limited to ‘higher’ animals.”

linkfest – 03/06/11

Happy children make happy adults“New research links well-being in adolescence with life satisfaction in adulthood”

Binge-drinking is in the genes: Scientists isolate brain chemical that makes us crave alcohol – TLR4 gene

Skull in Underwater Cave May Be Earliest Trace of First Americans

Is Romantic Love a Western, Heterosexual Construct? from the neurocritic.

Science explains why humor turns women on

Men who glare angrily when someone spills their pint are ‘reverting to their caveman instinct’

Ape or Human? Fossils’ Link to Evolution Questioned“In a paper published Feb. 19 in the science journal Nature, two paleoanthro-pologists argue that some recently discovered primate fossils may not be as human as everyone thinks.” see also Ancestor Worship

Listening to music is biological

Factors influencing the temporal patterns of dyadic behaviours and interactions between domestic cats and their owners or The Science of Women and Cats: The Bond Is Real