Putting IBD to bed

IBD plays a big part in my understanding of inheritance. I don’t mean inflammatory bowel disease. Nor do I mean isolation by distance. I’m talking identity by descent. Assuming your parents are “unrelated” then you are identical by descent with your sibling across some portion of your genome. You inherit identical segments from your parents, […] Continue reading

The X/(7 billion)-Men

Interesting piece in MIT Tech Review by Antonio Regalado, The Search for Exceptional Genomes: They walk among us. Natural experiments, living ordinary lives, unaware that their genes may hold the clue to the next superdrug. As you certainly know by now a lot of the hype over the Human Genome Project turns out to have […] Continue reading

Genes are a concept and a thing

A new study in Psychological Science, Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation, is getting breathless coverage in the press. Representative: “A genetic analysis of 409 pairs of gay brothers, including sets of twins, has provided the strongest evidence yet that gay people are born gay.” As a matter of fact I don’t […] Continue reading

Liberal science denialism at the ballot box

The two major issues where liberals in the United States get tagged as “denialist” or “anti-science” is on vaccination and GMO. A major problem with this thesis though is that in aggregate the social science doesn’t support this. I’ve used the GSS to check on GMO attitudes, and education/intelligence (or lack of) are the strongest […] Continue reading

Open Thread, November 16th, 2014

I’ve updated the raw data (csv, Excel) for the survey, which has nearly 340 respondents now. You can see the results so far here. Interestingly, 75 percent of readers claim to have read The Selfish Gene, vs. 65 percent who’ve read The Origin of Species. More have read Principles of Population Genetics than Molecular Biology […] Continue reading

Ideological profile of GNXP readers

Below I’ve take the survey results and plotted the scatter of results along two dimensions, and smoothed them out. No surprises, readers are about equally divided between libertarians, liberals, and conservatives, with a bias of numbers in that order. There are very few “populists,” understood to be people with Left economic views and Right social […] Continue reading

2014 Gene Expression reader survey

Over the years I’ve realized that since I regularly verbally bludgeon readers people think I’m a severe and overly serious person. Apparently the headshot which I have on Twitter also seems a bit dickish (it was taken in Florence in 2010). To compensate for that I had a friend take this picture of me recently. I’m smiling. […] Continue reading

A feline genome in full

As I mentioned yesterday I’m a contributor to a paper which made a big splash yesterday in PNAS, Comparative analysis of the domestic cat genome reveals genetic signatures underlying feline biology and domestication. It’s been pretty widely covered in the media. One thing that hasn’t gotten that much play because most people don’t work with […] Continue reading

Purring in the post-genomic era

I am an author on this paper, Comparative analysis of the domestic cat genome reveals genetic signatures underlying feline biology and domestication: We present highlights of the first complete domestic cat reference genome, to our knowledge. We provide evolutionary assessments of the feline protein-coding genome, population genetic discoveries surrounding domestication, and a resource of domestic […] Continue reading

Different ways to color a cat

Early last year an ancient genomics paper came out with the title Derived immune and ancestral pigmentation alleles in a 7,000-year-old Mesolithic European. The point here is that light pigmentation associated alleles common in Europeans seem to be relatively new derived mutations from the ancestral state, associated with Africans. An Ewen Callaway write up highlighted […] Continue reading

Insects are a pretty big deal

There’s another paper in Science which I don’t have much intelligent to say about, but which I want to point to because it seems really cool, Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution. Earlier work in phylogenetics tended to use a few characters or genetic markers. As noted in the abstract they used […] Continue reading

A man ~30,000 years before his time?

Were Scandinavians the original people of Europe? Such a headline is very suggestive of a press release gone wrong. But no, you just need to see what Eske Willerslev actually said to see the source of the headline. It was his lab which published the recent paper in Science, Genomic structure in Europeans dating back at […] Continue reading

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