linkfest – 04/21/13

Inbred royals show traces of natural selection“Study suggests the Spanish Habsburgs evolved to mute the effects of inbreeding, but other geneticists are unconvinced.”

Time to get tough on the physiological causes of crime“[V]iolent criminals are biologically different from the rest of us.” – review of The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime.

Scientists find ethnicity linked to antibodies“‘[I]t’s early days,’ emphasizes Watson, ‘but these findings could mean that past environmental exposures to certain pathogens caused DNA insertions or deletions in different ethnic groups, which could impact disease risk. Our results demonstrate that antibody studies need to take into account the ethnicity of DNA samples used.'”

Those resistant to ‘love hormone’ may also be easier to hypnotize“Gene variants linked to social detachment may increase suggestibility.”

One Blessing Of Outbreeding – i didn’t write this, i swear! (you’ll never guess who did…)

The gay germ hypothesis – from peter frost. see also Not Final! from greg cochran.

Another reminder…“[A] prod to certain of my smart liberal friends to start having children.” – from jayman. see also: The end of paternal investment or, more cads, fewer dads from mr. mangan.

The Strange Case of Dr. Robert Trivers“[Trivers] has been driven off the campus of Rutgers University! He has been involved in a controversy lately over his accusation that one of his graduate students committed fraud in a scientific paper. Apparently he was banned from campus because a colleague who supports the alleged fraudster claimed Trivers had ‘frightened him in his office’.” – from helian unbound.

Women graduates of elite colleges 1/3rd more likely to be stay-at-home moms – from steve sailer.

Scent of a Man: Women Can Sniff Out a Hot Guy“Women at their peak fertility prefer the smell of men oozing with testosterone, a new study finds.” – and speaking of testosterone: Testosterone pumps up threats for tough guys“The higher a man’s testosterone level, the more macho he’s likely to act when his masculinity is threatened, a new study finds.”

The Real ‘Hobbit’ Had Larger Brain Than Thought

Egyptian mummies yield genetic secrets“The ancient Egyptians could soon be getting their genomes sequenced as a matter of routine.”

Why Menopause?

Stonehenge occupied 5,000 years earlier than thought

The Pattern of Female Nuptiality in Oman“[M]ore than half (52%) of the total marriages in Oman are consanguineous. First cousin unions are the most common type of consanguineous unions, constituting 39% of all marriages and 75% of all consanguineous marriages. About 11% of the marriages are polygynous…. [P]aternal first-cousin marriages constituted 27.7% of all marriages and 72% (565/786) of all first-cousin marriages, while maternal first-cousin marriages constituted 10.8% of all marriages and 28% (221/786) of all first-cousin marriages.”

The Ancient Greeks & Romans, Beauty and Human Biodiversity – @occam’s razor.

Could Life Be Older Than Earth Itself?“[T]wo geneticists have applied Moore’s Law to the rate at which life on Earth grows in complexity — and the results suggest organic life first came into existence long before Earth itself.”

Chimps Communicate Like Passionate Italians – my favorite headline of the week. (^_^)

Live fast, die younger: Actors, singers and sportsman ‘die seven and a half years before other high achievers’

Historic human remains yield epigenetic tags – see also: Epigenetic Inheritance: Fact or Fiction?

Icelandic anti-incest app keeps residents from becoming kissin’ cousins – previously íslendingabók.

‘Real men wear kilts’: The anecdotal evidence that wearing a Scottish kilt has influence on reproductive potential: how much is true? – keep wearin’ yer kilt!

Did this magical little crystal help the Vikings rape and pillage across the world?“Research suggests crystal salvaged from a shipwreck may be a sunstone”

bonus: What rights should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get and why does it matter?“The Obama DOJ says it intends to question the Boston bombing suspect ‘extensively’ without first Mirandizing him”

bonus bonus: Applicants wanted for a one-way ticket to Mars – let’s go! (^_^)

bonus bonus bonus: ‘Living fossil’ genome unlocked“The genes of an ancient fish, the coelacanth, have much to reveal about our distant past.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Chlamydia Is Killing Koalas — Will Genetics Find a Cure?

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linkfest – 11/18/12

When the going gets tough, the tough get… more relief from a placebo?“[T]he new findings link specific, established personality traits with an individual’s susceptibility to the placebo effect…. The researchers showed a significant link between certain personality traits and how much relief people said they felt when given the placebo – as well as the level of a specific chemical that their brains released…. The findings show that about one-quarter of placebo response was explained by the personality traits of resiliency, straightforwardness, altruism or anger/hostility, as measured on standardized tests.”

Oxytocin Keeps Flirting Folks at Arm’s Length“[M]en who were in a committed relationship even maintained a greater distance from an attractive woman when under the influence of oxytocin than their control group.”

Gene distinguishes early birds from night owls and helps predict time of death“Common gene variant helps determine the time you will wake up each day — and the time of day you are likely to die.”

Link between creativity and mental illness confirmed“People in creative professions are treated more often for mental illness than the general population, there being a particularly salient connection between writing and schizophrenia.” – via parapundit.

Identical Twins Are Genetically Different, Research Suggests – copy errors.

The mysterious Ainu“[I]s the physical similarity [of the Ainu] to Europeans just a matter of chance? Convergent evolution? No, it may be that the Ainu have just not changed as much physically as other East Asians. – from peter frost.

Pre-Neolithic Mediterranean Island settlement“‘[T]he first inhabitants of many of the Mediterranean islands may not have been modern humans at all. Instead, he says evidence has been found that shows that they might have been Neanderthals, or Homo Erectus.'” – from dienekes.

Evidence for Early Hafted Hunting Technology“[E]arly humans were manufacturing hafted multicomponent tools ~200,000 years earlier than previously thought.”

The Golden Age“If people were always getting dumber, why on Earth would the scientific revolution be recent?” – greg cochran’s latest, most excellent rant. (^_^)

Einstein’s Brain“Uncommon features of Einstein’s brain might explain his remarkable cognitive abilities” – @the breviary (with appropriate and enjoyable sarcasm from mangan… (~_^) ).

Brain scans of rappers shed light on creativity“Functional magnetic resonance imaging shows what happens in the brain during improvisation.”

Why “Multicultural Society” is a Logical Impossibility

In Defense of Favoritism“Affective neuroscience research on early-childhood bonding suggests that, as mammals, we probably start out as emotionally glued microcommunities (family and tribe) before we become autonomous ego-driven creatures. Favoritism, not egoism, is probably the primal value system. In short, favoritism or bias toward your group is not intrinsically racist, sexist, or closed-minded. Privileging your tribe does not render you negative or bigoted toward those outside your tribe.”

bonus: Study Tracks Brain Gene Response to Territorial Aggression“Researchers are mapping the genetic underpinnings of the stickleback’s aggressive behavior.”

bonus bonus: Bonobos Catch Yawns from Friends

bonus bonus bonus: ‘Rogue planet’ spotted 100 light-years away“Astronomers have spotted a ‘rogue planet’ – wandering the cosmos without a star to orbit – 100 light-years away.”

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your gene is showing

“Strangers can spot ‘kindness’ gene: study”

“People with a certain gene trait are known to be more kind and caring than people without it, and strangers can quickly tell the difference, according to US research published on Monday.

“The variation is linked to the body’s receptor gene of oxytocin, sometimes called the ‘love hormone’ because it often manifests during sex and promotes bonding, empathy and other social behaviors.

“Scientists at Oregon State University devised an experiment in which 23 couples, whose genotypes were known to researchers but not observers, were filmed.

“One member of the couple was asked to tell the other about a time of suffering in his or her life. Observers were asked to watch the listener for 20 seconds, with the sound turned off.

In most cases, the observers were able to tell which of the listeners had the ‘kindness gene’ and which ones did not, said the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences edition of November 14.

“‘Our findings suggest even slight genetic variation may have tangible impact on people’s behavior, and that these behavioral differences are quickly noticed by others,’ said lead author Aleksandr Kogan, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto….”

see also: Thin-slicing study of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene and the evaluation and expression of the prosocial disposition @pnas.

p.s. – from the afp article:

“People in the study were tested beforehand and found to have GG, AG or AA genotypes for the rs53576 DNA sequence of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene.

“People who have two copies of the G allele are generally judged as more empathetic, trusting and loving.

“Those with AG or AA genotypes tend to say they feel less positive overall, and feel less parental sensitivity. Previous research has shown they also may have a higher risk of autism.”

i got AG, btw. (~_^)

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linkfest – 03/20/11

Genes, Not “Culture”—Why the Japanese Don’t Loot“The implication of this mantra-like repetition of the word ‘culture’ implies that cultures drop out of the sky, that the lucky Japanese got a good one and the Haitians got a bad one.” yes. where does culture come from?

Are the wealthiest countries the smartest countries?“For each one-point increase in a country’s average IQ, the per capita GDP was $229 higher. It made an even bigger difference if the smartest 5 percent of the population got smarter; for every additional IQ point in that group, a country’s per capita GDP was $468 higher.”

Women feel pain more than men, scientists say after studying brain scans

Human prejudice has ancient evolutionary roots“The tendency to perceive others as ‘us versus them’ isn’t exclusively human but appears to be shared by our primate cousins.”

Odd Form of ‘Love’ Hormone Found in Some Monkeys – oxytocin

Human gender roles influence research on animals – humans and their biases. who woulda guessed?!

Biology’s ‘dark matter’ hints at fourth domain of life – neato! see also: Glimpses of the Fourth Domain? @the loom.

Scientist Smackdown: When Did Europeans First Harness Fire?

Your brain is a rain forest – neurodiversity’s the word

The Secrets to Long Life: Worry, Work Hard and Marry Well (If You’re a Man) – via diversityischaos

Searching for the Source of a Fountain of Courage

bonus: radiation dose chart from xkcd.

linkfest – 01/16/11

Men With Macho Faces Attractive to Fertile Women, Researchers Find“Meanwhile, a man’s intelligence has no effect on the extent to which fertile, female partners fantasize about others, the researchers found. They say the lack of an observed ‘fertility effect’ related to intelligence is puzzling.” [sorry, geeks!]

The Kingdom in the Closet – لا تسأل ، لا تخبر also: Paedophilia ‘culturally accepted in south Afghanistan’

The Mathematics Of Beauty“The more men as a group disagree about a woman’s looks, the more they end up liking her.”

Lice DNA Study Shows Humans First Wore Clothes 170,000 Years Ago – ewwww!

Scent of a Woman’s Tears Lowers Men’s Desire – *sniff*

No love for outsiders – oxytocin boosts favouritism towards our own ethnic or cultural group“Carsten de Dreu from the University of Amsterdam has found that sniffs of oxytocin make us more biased towards peers from our own ethnic or cultural group, versus those from other groups.” also Depth of the Kindness Hormone Appears to Know Some Bounds from nicholas wade @the nyt.

Born This Way – funny gay blog. (^_^)

Taking the moral high ground: People are more generous ‘when positioned physically higher than others’

Slipping the ‘Cognitive Straitjacket’ of Psychiatric Diagnosis“Psychiatry’s diagnostic bible [the DSM] meets the awkward facts of genetics”

God’s little rabbits: Religious people out-reproduce secular ones by a landslide also Predisposition for Religion Can Spread Quickly

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trust me on this

some results from a gss question asked in 2006: “To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements? a. There are only a few people I can trust completely” >>

a whopping 72.2% of people agreed or strongly agreed that there are only a few people whom they can trust completely:

get these people some oxytocin nasal spray, quick! (~_^)

men and women said they trusted people at around the same rate:

people who didn’t finish high school trust people the least, while people with bachelor’s degrees are the most naive trust people the most:

whites trust others more than blacks or people of other races do:

and (certain) hispanics really don’t trust anybody.

remember, whites who said they agree/strongly agree that there’s only a few people they can trust completely = 69.7%. blacks = 79.1%.

cubans = 75.2% (a h*lluva lot of cubans in the u.s. are white). mexicans/mexican-americans = 80.2%. puerto ricans = 82.8%. (i skipped other hispanic groups ’cause the numbers were so few):

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linkfest 12/05/10

“The Mad Artist’s Brain: The Connection between Creativity and Mental Illness”“Thinking outside the box might be facilitated by having a somewhat less intact box.”

“What the length of your index finger says about you” – 2d:4d stuff.

“Mercury causes homosexuality in male ibises” @ nature.

“A primatologist discovers the social factors responsible for maternal infanticide”

“Why suicide bombers are Muslim (lack of sex) and liberals are more intelligent: A controversial psychologist’s VERY politically incorrect ‘truths’ about human nature” – on satoshi kanazawa.

“Eugenics is not ‘Right-wing'” (previously on hbdchick: “what a joke!” and “ivy league selective breeding”)

“Kids with ‘smart’ parents smoke more weed: study”

“The Royal Society’s lost women scientists”

via not exactly rocket science, “15-minute writing exercise closes the gender gap in university-level physics” – interesting. but i’d like to see it replicated a few (hundred) more times.

“Oxytocin ‘polarises men’s opinions of their mothers'”

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linkfest 10/10/10 (↑cool!)

“Five times more Americans than Brits gay or bisexual, research finds”“A US survey found that eight per cent of men and seven per cent of women classed themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.”

“Black Male Children Have Highest Rates of Food Allergies”

“Study: Your Weight Affects Your Salary”“[S]kinny women tend to have fatter paychecks than average or overweight women…. Larger men are shown to have larger paychecks than their thinner brethren…. In fact, as a man’s weight increases, so does his salary — until the point of obesity, when his salary then drops.”

“Having faith ‘helps patients live longer’, study suggests”

“How to make meerkats even more sociable” (clue: get ’em high on oxytocin)

“Hard-wired for chocolate and hybrid cars? How genetics affect consumer choice”

“Why staying cool’s no sweat for women as secret of perspiration is unblocked” (men sweat; women glow.)

“Human Kind: Is selflessness in our nature?” (review of “The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness”)

“How the First Nine Months Shape the Rest of Your Life” @ time.

“Did Australian Aborigines reach America first?” (see also luzia.)

classic link: “The Lost Tribes of Europe” @ time magazine.

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