Monthly Archives: November 2015

Low-Hanging Fruit: Ergothioneine

Ergothioneine is an amino acid, one that is made by fungi and some bacteria. Humans can’t make it, but it is present in some tissues at fairly high level, and there is a specific transporter (SLC22A4). A more-active form of … Continue reading

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Degenerate Hobbits

There’s a new report out, claiming that the Flores Hobbits are probably an island dwarf version of Homo erectus, judging by their teeth. Flores isn’t a very big island – ~5,000 square miles, similar to Connecticut. There couldn’t have been … Continue reading

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Hive Mind

Garrett Jones has a new book out: Hive Mind. He argues that “while individual IQ scores predict our independent success moderately well, a country’s average score is a remarkable bellwether of its general prosperity.” Makes sense. I might even call … Continue reading

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Perverted Frogs

Pedophylax esculentus is a common type of frog in Europe. It originated as a hybrid of two other frog species (P. ridibundus (RR) and P. lessonae (LL) ), but that’s not their fault. However, the way in which they continue … Continue reading

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Monte Verde, Ghost populations, Brazil

There is a new report about Monte Verde, an archaeological site in Chile. There is solid evidence that people were there 14,500 years ago – the earliest occupation of South America that we can be sure of – older than … Continue reading

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Clever Sillies

I don’t have good numbers on this, but I often get the feeling that bright people are particularly susceptible to moderately complicated intellectual scams, like Marx and Freud and foot reflexology. By the way, I would guess that you all … Continue reading

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Degenerate Neanderthals

There are a couple of new papers out on how utterly fucked-up Neanderthals must have been, The Genetic Cost of Neanderthal Introgression by Kelley Harris and Rasmus Nielsen, and The Strength of Selection Against Neanderthal Introgression, by Ivan Juric, Simon … Continue reading

Posted in Archaic humans, Neanderthals | 62 Comments