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juliusbeezer : genetics   14

What you can learn about marriage and migration from a 13-million member family tree
prior to 1750, most marriages in their data set occurred between people born about 6 miles from each other. After the start of the Industrial Revolution in 1870, however, that distance rapidly increased to about 60 miles.

You might think that as people traveled farther to find a spouse, they would marry people who were more distantly related to them. And indeed, that was true. Eventually.

The authors report that between 1650 and 1850 the average genetic relationship of married couples was on the order of 4th cousins. After 1850 it was on the order of 7th cousins.

But, the researchers found something strange in the data. Between 1800 and 1850 the distance couples traveled to marry each other doubled — probably because rapid transportation made railroad travel possible in most of Europe and the United States. However, that increase in distance traveled to marry someone was accompanied by an increase in genetic relatedness between marriage partners.

In other words, during this 50-year period, people traveled farther to marry closer relations.
anthropology  genetics  history  sex  psychology 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
Pedigree collapse — ISOGG Wiki
Small, isolated populations such as those of remote islands represent extreme examples of pedigree collapse, but the common historical tendency to marry those within walking distance, due to the relative immobility of the population before modern transport, meant that most marriage partners were at least distantly related. Even in America around the 19th century, the tendency of immigrants to marry among their ethnic, language or cultural group produced many cousin marriages.

If one considers as a function of time t the number of a given individual's ancestors who were alive at time t, it is likely that for most individuals this function has a maximum at around 1200 AD. Some geneticists believe that everybody on Earth is at least 50th cousin to everybody else.[4]
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Exclusive: World’s first baby born with new “3 parent” technique | New Scientist
Zhang has been working on a way to avoid mitochondrial disease using a so-called “three-parent” technique. In theory, there are a few ways of doing this. The method approved in the UK is called pronuclear transfer and involves fertilising both the mother’s egg and a donor egg with the father’s sperm. Before the fertilised eggs start dividing into early-stage embryos, each nucleus is removed. The nucleus from the donor’s fertilised egg is discarded and replaced by that from the mother’s fertilised egg.

But this technique wasn’t appropriate for the couple – as Muslims, they were opposed to the destruction of two embryos. So Zhang took a different approach, called spindle nuclear transfer. He removed the nucleus from one of the mother’s eggs and inserted it into a donor egg that had had its own nucleus removed. The resulting egg – with nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA from a donor – was then fertilised with the father’s sperm...

Neither method has been approved in the US, so Zhang went to Mexico instead, where he says “there are no rules”. He is adamant that he made the right choice.
genetics  medicine  ethics  mexico  us  uk 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Albert Jacquard — Wikipédia
Turned on to this guy by some random Facebook meme (which was nice enough, but the reference to the title whence it came seems to have been wrong. And now I can't find *that* again. Bloody Facebook. Text as .gif is so stupid-making. Ho hum!)

Structures génétiques des populations, Masson, 1970. / (en) The Genetic Structure of Populations, Springer, 1974.
Les probabilités, Presses universitaires de France, collection « Que sais-je ? », 1974.
Génétique des populations humaines, Presses universitaires de France, 1974. / (en) Genetics of Human Populations, Freeman Cooper & Co, 1978.
L’Étude des isolats. Espoirs et limites, Presse universitaires de France et INED, 1976.
Concepts en génétique des populations, Masson, vol. 4 de la collection « biologie évolutive », 1977.
genetics  population  français  health  science  sciencepublishing 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
The 'Scope: Blinding you with science!: The Last Man And Woman On Earth – Can Two People Repopulate The Planet?
The lone pair faces the inevitable question: can they repopulate the Earth? To do so, their children would have to mate with one another, or mom and dad, in order to rebuild the human race. All the incestuous taboos aside, is this even genetically possible?
genetics  dccomment 
march 2015 by juliusbeezer
Freeing the Data: For Clinicians | Free the Data
The Sharing Clinical Reports Project (SCRP) is a volunteer, grass-roots effort to encourage open sharing of genetic variant information. SCRP specifically aims to collect information on BRCA1 and 2 variants and make this information publicly available in the NCBI ClinVar database. SCRP is a component of the International Collaboration for Clinical Genomics (ICCG), a group of laboratories, physicians, genetic counselors, researchers, and others dedicated to raising the standard of patient care by improving the quality of genomic testing.

Free the Data aims to revolutionize how vital information is shared and accessed, in order to further translational research and advance clinical care towards lower costs, higher quality, and more efficient treatments. In addition to the educational materials that you give your patients who are about to have a BRCA1/2 genetic test performed (or have already had one), you can give them this one-pager, asking them to share their data. Alternatively, you can share the data for them.
opendata  medicine  genetics  crowdscience  crowdsourcing 
march 2015 by juliusbeezer
Open Humans Network -
Open Humans Network is launching soon. Led by Jason Bobe and Madeleine Ball of, OHN attempts to break down health data silos through an online portal that will connect participants willing to share data about themselves publicly with researchers who are interested in using that public data and contributing their analyses and insight to it. The portal will showcase public health data and facilitate its exploration and download. The Open Humans Network ultimately hopes to revolutionize research by making it easy for anyone to participate in research projects and facilitating highly integrated, longitudinal health data.
healthcare  genetics  confidentiality  medicine  open  opendata  openmedicine  openness 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
What’s the Point If We Can’t Have Fun? | David Graeber | The Baffler
scientific observation has revealed that even lobsters engage in some forms of play—manipulating objects, for instance, possibly just for the pleasure of doing so. If that is the case, to call such creatures “robots” would be to shear the word “robot” of its meaning. Machines don’t just fool around. But if living creatures are not robots after all, many of these apparently thorny questions instantly dissolve away.

What would happen if we proceeded from the reverse perspective and agreed to treat play not as some peculiar anomaly, but as our starting point
work  graeber  science  genetics 
july 2014 by juliusbeezer
The Society of Mind Text & Video Archive
Why should we be able to learn many different speech sounds before the age of puberty but find it so much harder to learn new ones afterward? I suspect that this link to puberty is no coincidence. Instead, one or more of the genetically controlled mechanisms that brings on sexual maturity also acts to reduce the capacities of these particular agencies to learn to recognize and make new sounds! But why did this peculiar disability evolve? What evolutionary survival advantage would favor individuals whose genes reduce, after that age, this particular ability to learn? Consider this hypothesis:

The onset of the childbearing age is the biological moment when a person's social role changes from learner to teacher. The evolutionary purpose of suppressing speech-sound learning may simply serve to prevent the parent from learning

the child's speech — thus making the child learn the adult's speech instead!

Wouldn't parents want to teach the children their language anyway? Not necessarily. In the short run, a parent is usually more concerned with communication than with instruction. Accordingly, if we found it easier to imitate our children's sounds, that's what we'd do. But if parents were inclined and able to learn to speak the ways their children do, those children would lose both incentive and opportunity to learn to speak like adults, and — if every child acquired a different set of language sounds — no common, public language would ever have evolved in the first place!
language  genetics 
november 2013 by juliusbeezer
Breaking the mould: genetics and education | Practical Ethics
So my basic stance is that if genetic information could personalize education well, go for it!

But… I am less convinced than the geneticists that we can actually do it, at least in the near future. Genetics is hard. It is surprisingly tricky to establish how genes translate into actual outcomes since so much is interacting. Even when there are statistical differences between groups it might not tell us much. For example, I have GG at SNP rs363050, something which (according to one study) is associated with about 3 IQ points less in non-verbal IQ. Given that I am in the philosophy faculty at Oxford I can’t be that stupid – no doubt I have compensating genes. Or a really good upbringing. Or maybe the variation only matters in some people. Or with some environments. Knowing about my rs363050 would not have helped my teachers to teach me better.
genetics  education 
october 2013 by juliusbeezer
Who Owns You?: Philosophy and Public Policy: Metaphysics Matters!
At one of my recent talks, someone asked why in making my arguments I relied on ontology rather than ethics. My response was that courts are typically unmoved by ethics. This may be suprising, but it is true. The Court's decision in Myriad is about the nature of the underlying objects, not about what is right or wrong. Perhaps there is an ethical dimension to the general prohibition against patenting abstract ideas, natural phenomena, and laws of nature. Or perhaps not. Perhaps this restriction is about the nature of the objects too, as I have claimed when I argue they are simply materially and logically (and thus maybe also ethically) "unencloseable." But the Court's decision is guided, whether knowingly or not, but an ontology, and one which is coherent if understood as I am describing it. It provides guidance for those who conduct basic research, and those who wish to commercialize inventions. It offers some clarity where the law had deviated from logic.
philosophy  law  ethics  ontology  genetics  politics 
june 2013 by juliusbeezer
Ewan's Blog; bioinformatician at large: Using DNA as a digital archive media
We had done it! We had encoded arbitrary digital information in DNA, manufactured it, and read it back. But we had to wonder whether our result was actually useful. DNA synthesis at this scale is still more of a research endeavour: volumes are going up but the price is still very high (certainly much higher than hard disk or tape).
genetics  science  cool 
january 2013 by juliusbeezer
>100 experts asked "What worries you?" Lots of misguided fun.
Both autism and schizophrenia have substantial inherited components and there was great hope that the origin of mental disorders could be understood by identifying the genes that are responsible. In studies of monozygotic twins, the concordance for autism is 30-90% and is 40-60% for schizophrenia. Large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have screened thousands of families with these disorders and have concluded that no single gene mutation, insertion, deletion or copy number variation can account for more than a small fraction of the variance in the population.
psychology  genetics  culture 
january 2013 by juliusbeezer
Blond Melanesians: what else are we missing? « Inspiring Science
Blond hair must therefore have evolved at least twice in humans: once in Europeans and separately in Melanesians. While there’s nothing surprising about a trait evolving several times, it is remarkable that it’s taken over a decade since the human genome was sequenced for us to discover this about something as prominent as blond hair. One has to wonder what other genes we’ve missed which might underlie the rich variety of human colours, body types, metabolisms and medical conditions.

Genomics research has suffered from an unfortunate bias to date, focusing to a much greater extent on European populations and their descendants than on other groups.
genetics  science 
november 2012 by juliusbeezer

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