Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Old Race

That puzzling variant of PLK4, that increases the miscarriage rate,  is very widespread, moderately common in almost all population – but it’s rare in Bushmen (frequency of 1 in 38 among the  Ju’/hoansi) and Pygmies,  enough to you suspect that … Continue reading

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Roland Fryer wins the John Bates Clark medal

Roland Fryer has won the John Bates Clark medal for the top economist under 40. I’ve paid attention to some of his papers that impinge on biology, even corresponded with him.  In one,  he argued that higher risk for cardiovascular … Continue reading

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The Lottery

Lotteries can be useful natural experiments; we can use them to test the accuracy of standard sociological theories, in which rich people buy their kids extra smarts, bigger brains, better health, etc. David Cesarini, who I met at that Chicago … Continue reading

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Safety Dance

I understand that many college students are made to feel “unsafe” by certain speakers addressing particular subjects.  But although most people like crisp breakfast cereal, there are those that like it as soggy as possible. One would think that there … Continue reading

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He still has that hair

Steven Pinker was saying that greatly extending the human lifespan is hard, maybe impossible: ” I suspect that death will never be conquered (though our lifespans will continue to increase, at least for a while). Any cost-free longevity gene or … Continue reading

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Eight thousand years of natural selection in Europe

They get a selective advantage of 1.5% for the European lactose tolerance allele: “We estimated the selection coefficient on the derived allele to be 0.015 (95% confidence interval; CI=0.010-0.034) using a method that fits a hidden Markov model to the … Continue reading

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Born that way

In the Atlantic Monthly , which no longer has any reason for existence, since there’s really no point in placing a computer screen on the bottom of a birdcage, Jason Silverstein  – a doctoral candidate in anthropology at Harvard –  … Continue reading

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