Monthly Archives: February 2015

Brotherhood of warmblood

All mammals are more closely related to each other than they are to any bird. That’s why an otter or a porcupine will instinctively help a rabbit that’s being chased by a hawk. Except that they don’t.  Why not?  

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Genetic Convection

Advantageous gene variants certainly spread by people marrying someone from the next village, but they can also be spread by population movements – settling virgin lands, farmers pushing aside foragers, and of course conquest, our old friend. If a Fisher … Continue reading

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Various crap

The world is infested by various nutty ideas, and mostly you just have to ignore them, at least until you become King and release the hounds. But someone needs to oppose them, else the young and naive may fall victim. … Continue reading

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It looks as if the people that founded the Corded Ware culture, largely eliminating the previous LBK-like farmers, were the Yamnaya, themselves a mixed population, approximately half some kind of eastern hunter-gatherer and half some farming populations genetically similar to … Continue reading

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Massive Migration

The big new paper on European origins is out (by Wolfgang Haak, Iosif Lazaridis, Nick Patterson, David Reich, etc) . The Corded Ware population is quite different from the preceding Neolithic farmers: it is about 75% descended from a Yamnaya-like … Continue reading

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Deuterium as a trace isotope?

Most of the elements in the first four rows of the periodic (other than the noble gases) have some biological role – which means that you need at least a little. In many cases, we know something about the specific … Continue reading

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Don’t Drink The Water

About 1 in every 6400 hydrogen atoms is deuterium, with a proton and a neutron in the nucleus, not just a proton. It’s not exactly like regular hydrogen: the bond energies are slightly different (different reduced mass). Since living things … Continue reading

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