Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Charade

I was watching Charade the other day, not for the first time, and was noticing that the action scenes with Cary Grant (human fly, and fighting George Kennedy) really weren’t very convincing.  Age. But think what it would be like … Continue reading

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Cockles, and Mussels

Looking further at that  article about a transmissible cancer in clams, it appears that cell line infections are common in bivalves – oysters, cockles, mussels – without being recognized as such until now.  Could be true in other filter-feeders – … Continue reading

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Cell Line Infections, or, my dog has no bones

[ I wrote this back in 2002] Host cell lines are an entirely new class of disease-causing organism. They are strange and unusually disgusting, and if you read this you may end up showering in Lysol for the next few … Continue reading

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Ain’t gonna study war no more

Military history has almost vanished from academia, especially in ‘elite’ institutions. This is probably related to that strange Bellesiles incident, and the trend toward Kumbaya models of prehistory in archaeology and anthropology.  It’s not just that academic historians don’t publish … Continue reading

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