Category Archives: Genetics

Rasmus Nielsen

The paper on the Denisovan origin of one of the key altitude-adaptation genes (EPAS1) in Tibetans is now out (lead author Emilia Huerta-Sanchez,  senior author Rasmus Nielsen). It’s on a Denisovan haplotype.   Likely Denisovans occupied a lot of East … Continue reading

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Denisovans, Genetics | 22 Comments

Ashkenazi Ancestry

I’m looking at abstracts on Ashkenazi genetics from ASHG 2013 and SMBE 2014 – by the same group, with Shai Carmi as the lead author.  They did 128 whole genomes, 50x deep. They concluded Ashkenazi Jews were about 50% Middle … Continue reading

Posted in Ashkenazi Jews, Genetics | 80 Comments

Diversity Galor

Quamrul Ashraf and Oded Galor argue that “the level of genetic diversity within a society is found to have a hump-shaped effect on development outcomes in both the pre-colonial and the modern era, reflecting the trade-off between the beneficial and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Genetics | 65 Comments

Talking to Economists

I gave a talk, back in April, at the University of Chicago.  We were trying to introduce some economists to genetics, which is relevant to some of the questions they work on.  Some already knew quite a bit – we … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Genetics | 90 Comments

Call Him George

  One thing leads to another. I hear that Rasmus Nielsen (speaking at SMBE 2014) has evidence that Tibetans picked up some of their altitude adaptation (EPAS1) from Denisovans. Who could have imagined that?

Posted in Altitude adaptations, Denisovans, Genetics | 13 Comments

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes

Svante Pääbo has a book out, Neanderthal Man, in which he recounts his adventures sequencing ancient DNA.  He has had three big successes: the first successful sequencing of Neanderthal mtDNA in 1997, the first sequencing of the Neanderthal nuclear genome, … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Book Reviews, Denisovans, Genetics, Neanderthals | 116 Comments

Heteropaternal Superfecundation

Sperm competition is a factor in some cases of paternal uncertainty, but there are also many cases in which it is not. For example, Daniel Boone’s wife had a daughter, Jemima, when he had been gone for more than a … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics | 123 Comments

The Son Also Rises

Greg Clark has a new book out, The Son Also Rises. His thesis, in short, is that moxie has high heritability. Most studies show fairly high social mobility from one generation to the next – but Clark finds (using surname … Continue reading

Posted in Ashkenazi Jews, assortative mating, Book Reviews, Education, Genetics | 74 Comments

Burning Seed Corn

According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, writing in the Harvard Business Review, 33% of successful career women (business executives, doctors, lawyers, academics,  etc) in the 41-55 age bracket are childless. In corporate America, 42%.  I figure that the TFR of this … Continue reading

Posted in dysgenics | 92 Comments

Sperm competition

Mostly, people are talking about competition between sperm produced by different  males. In humans, this means women that are into speed dating. The non-paternity rate is an upper limit to the rate of sperm competition:  in many, probably most cases … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics | 143 Comments