- Uncharted territory. How medical research tackles a never-before-seen disorder.
- Muir lives! Evaluating the value of wilderness, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Wilderness Act.
- Take note, Science. The Lancet’s infographic on sex work and HIV risk.
- Worst indigestion ever? If you give a desert woodrat antibiotics, it’s going to want something to eat instead of creosote.
- How are we just getting to this? Accounting for genetic drift in microbial experimental evolution.
- The page is mightier. How the promises of speed reading never quite materialize.
Monthly Archives: July 2014
Stuff online, feet of clay edition
- This week, at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! Dismantling A Troublesome Inheritance, part III: has natural selection created differences between racial groups?
- And at The Molecular Ecologist: Further thoughts on peer review.
- Not a great week. A series of not unrelated reminders of how poorly scientific workplaces can treat women: from Richard Feynman’s lechery to harassment during field work to the actual cover of Science.
- Now that’s a lizard of a different color. A lizard can change color for camouflage because it can (kinda) see with its skin.
- #MinnesotaSmug How my home state is steadily cutting its carbon emissions.
- Are you ready? Next week is moth week.
- Being wrong != being ignorant. The recent study that shows many people who deny evolution understand it pretty well anyway.
- The Facebook feed of evil. Digging into the demography, and the online likes and dislikes of white supremacists.
- And, appropriately, we’re freaking out. The World Health Organization recommends prophylactic antiretrovirals for all gay men.
Stuff online, vampire barnacles edition
- This week, at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! No, some human populations aren’t more genetically prone to violence than others.
- Take note, Runkeeper. A crowd-sourced algorithm to find the scenic route between point A and point B.
- Pretty much. Evolutionary psychology as frat-boy science.
- It takes two to bareback. The case of a college wrestler points up the many problems with criminalizing HIV transmission.
- In Australia. Solar power is on track to out-compete coal.
- You don’t buy a cake for an abortion. Or, why women’s reproductive rights are losing in the culture wars while gay marriage wins.
- So. Much. Stupid. A Harvard psychology professor makes the dumbest statement possible about scientific replication.
- Worst zit ever? A barnacle that leaches its nutrients from the flesh of sharks.
- So good. The best teachable moments in the now Emmy-nominated reboot of Cosmos.
Chris Smith takes on that Troublesome book
Although some studies have found genetic variants in the MAO-A promoter region that are more common in some ethnic groups than in others (Sabol et al. 1998; Widom & Brzustowicz 2006; Reti et al. 2011) it is likely that these genetic variants are not –on their own– associated with violent or impulsive behavior (Caspi et al. 2002; Widom & Brzustowicz 2006). Instead, genetic variation in the MAO-A promoter seems to make some children less able to recover from abuse and childhood trauma, and therefore more likely to act out later in life (Caspi et al. 2002; Widom & Brzustowicz 2006). Simply carrying the ‘low expression’ allele in the MAO-A promoter does not have any effect at all on impulsivity or aggression.
Chris co-teaches a class on exactly the topics covered in A Troublesome Inheritance, so I highly recommend you read the whole thing, and follow the series to its conclusion.
Stuff online, what’s in your library? edition
- This week, at The Molecular Ecologist: #Evol2014 in tweets, and how “Markov chain” methods estimate tricky probability distributions.
- And, at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense: The first post in an in-depth series on the evolutionary claims in A Troublesome Inheritance.
- By nineteenth-century standards, anyway. Charles Darwin, anti-racist.
- Please. Here are some ideas that scientists would like you to stop repeating.
- And not all universities pay the same. How much universities pay for scientific journal subscriptions.
- Because no one should put up with it. Some possible responses to crazy sexist shit.
- Under existing law against gender bias. LGBT employees may already enjoy legal protections in the U.S.
- Ugh. Male professors are less likely to hire women than female profs—and especially if they’re highly successful male professors.
- Cities stink. And that can confuse pollinating moths.
My #Evol2014 talk on population genomic “scans” for local adaptation
This year at the Evolution meetings, for the very first time, the conference organizers offered presenters the option of having our talks filmed by graduate student volunteers. Naturally, I had to try this out—and the result isn’t half bad!
If only I’d pointed myself at the microphone more consistently. And said “umm” about three times less frequently. And maybe worn a nicer shirt …