linkfest – 02/05/12

Brains of addicts are inherently abnormal: study“Drug addicts have inherited abnormalities in some parts of the brain which interfere with impulse control, said a British study published in the United States on Thursday…. Scientists at the University of Cambridge compared the brains of addicts to their non-addicted siblings as well as to healthy, unrelated volunteers and found that the siblings shared many of the same weaknesses in their brains. That indicates that the brain vulnerabilities had a family origin….”

Sex-specific behaviors traced to hormone-controlled genes in the brain“The new evidence shows that the sex hormones – testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone – act in a key region of the brain, switching certain genes on and others off. ‘What this means is that complex behaviors like male mating or maternal care in mice can be deconstructed at the genetic level.'”

Gene related to fat preferences in humans found“A preference for fatty foods has a genetic basis, according to researchers, who discovered that people with certain forms of the CD36 gene [the AA form] may like high-fat foods more than those who have other forms of this gene.” – i betcha i don’t have that allele. fat. yuck! (^_^)

Jonathan Haidt Decodes the Tribal Psychology of Politics“Humans are 90-percent chimp, but also 10-percent bee—evolved to bind together for the good of the hive.” – bzzz. (^_^)

Shocker: Women’s rights do not bloom in Arab Spring – from mr. a. epigone.

DNA Turning Human Story Into a Tell-All“[F]aster and cheaper genetic sequencing technology, is helping scientists draw a surprisingly complex new picture of human origins. The new view is fast supplanting the traditional idea that modern humans triumphantly marched out of Africa about 50,000 years ago, replacing all other types that had gone before. Instead, the genetic analysis shows, modern humans encountered and bred with at least two groups of ancient humans in relatively recent times: the Neanderthals, who lived in Europe and Asia, dying out roughly 30,000 years ago, and a mysterious group known as the Denisovans, who lived in Asia and most likely vanished around the same time.”

Y-chromosome admixture in self-identified Australian Aboriginals“In total, ∼70% of Y chromosomes in the Aboriginal database could be classed as non-indigenous, with only 169 (129 unique haplotypes) or 22% of the total being associated with haplogroups denoting Aboriginal ancestry….” – @dienekes’ blog.

What’s Wrong With the Teenage Mind?“Children today reach puberty earlier and adulthood later. The result: A lot of teenage weirdness.”

Strength by outbreeding“‘US history has many virtues, among which is the fact that the US population is reconstituted every generation through a roughly 10 percent admixture by external immigration from throughout the world.'” – that’s a quote from robert trivers’ new book @evolving economics.

Castaway Lizards Offer New Look at Evolutionary Processes“Differences caused by ‘founder effect’ persist when populations adapt to new environments”

bonus: Quiet, Please: Unleashing ‘The Power Of Introverts’ – this might be the one and only time i’ll link to npr. ever. (~_^)

bonus bonus: ruh roh.

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