A Brief History of Humankind

 I wonder whether Yuval Harari is related to the physicist Haim Harari. Yuval Noah Harari discusses his new book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, which explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be human. One hundred thousand years ago, at least …

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Multiallelic copy number variation

These new results probe surprisingly large variation in copy number (duplicated genomic segments) and its impact on gene expression. Earlier posts involving CNVs. Large multiallelic copy number variations in humans Nature Genetics (2015) doi:10.1038/ng.3200 Thousands of genomic segments appear to be present in widely varying copy numbers in different human genomes. We developed ways to …

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A Race With All Losers

Heading off recently to a small fishing village in Mexico for some quiet R&R with some good fiction and Jeremy Scahill’s Dirty Wars in the backpack was mostly a good thing. No television, internet, no crowds, just surf, sun and breezes. I say mostly, because Dirty Wars was a troubling read. I have been compelled again to investigate and …

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Hospitality

It’s approaching thirty years ago that I made my one and only trip to India. Negotiating what you should and should not imbibe was an almost daily affair in those days. We drank beer because the water was a hazard for the unadapted Western gut. The bottled water at the fine hotels was reputed to …

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More GWAS hits for cognitive ability

More genome-wide significant associations between individual SNPs and cognitive ability from a sample of 50k individuals. See also First GWAS hits for cognitive ability. Genetic contributions to variation in general cognitive function: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in the CHARGE consortium (N=53 949) Nature Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication 3 February 2015 doi: 10.1038/mp.2014.188 General …

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Not So Sure

When I was a sophomore in college there was a good-looking fellow among my circle of friends who must have had some deep insecurity buried in his persona. He was constantly embellishing accounts of his various comings and goings with feats of amazing ability and encounters with celebrities that we all knew were very unlikely …

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