Daily Data Dump

By Razib Khan | April 16, 2010 12:02 pm

Friday Weird Science: Smells Fishy? Check your semen. I’m not going to describe the post. You read it (though perhaps not on a full stomach).

Freeing human eggs of mutant mitochondria. I’m pretty sure this would be banned by the Orange Catholic Bible.

Scientists Devise Way to Link Complex Traits With Underlying Genes. At least for some model organisms, though the authors claim at the end of their paper that they could be transfered to humans.

Mixed-Race People Perceived as ‘More Attractive,’ UK Study Finds. In general I think these sorts of studies are the inverse of the results of Charles Davenport on Jamaican mulattoes, scientists sometimes know what findings are congenial to the Zeitgeist, and will keep looking until they find them. I suspect there might be some effect here, but I doubt much in most non-inbred populations. To me the issue is diminishing returns, the same sort of problem which I think crops up in racialist arguments promoting ethnic genetic interests (that should even the balance of the scales of Political Correctness). Also, if you accept these results as rooted in heterosis you’d naturally want to compare Eurasians to European/Asian-African mixes, since the former are from much closer populations genetically than the latter, and so would exhibit proportionality more gains.

Obama, Republicans clash over financial reform. I think this is a case where David Frum’s half-a-loaf is probably wisest; the public is suspicious of Republicans when it comes to financial regulation. This isn’t an entitlement, so Republicans could probably change things in the future anyhow if they had the Presidency and majorities in Congress (though perhaps they’ll make a big stink now so that Wall Street is more positively inclined toward them in terms of political donations).

Quantum Hustles. Sometimes science blogging is not going to make intuitive sense.

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  • miko

    Can I be against dumps/roundups/rolls? Seems more and more blogs I look at use these. My RSS reader is already a dump/roundup/roll, now it’s a dump of dumps. Where does it end?

    Cranky because I owed taxes. It’s like the Reagan years again.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    yeah, i’m ambivalent about it. what do other readers think? obviously you guys have lots of links/etc., so i try & add some razib-themed commentary. i kind of started doing it cuz a lot of other blogs started doing it, and i actually find it useful since if, for example, felix salmon links to some financial thing i’m liable to think it should be read-worthy. but i thought it might be useful if someone did this but pointed to research lit & and good under trafficked science blogs.

    also, you could also just subscribe to the science only feed!

  • Eric Johnson

    I think it’s pretty cool. But you should name them in the form “Data Dump! (Wednesday).” When they are all named just “Data Dump,” I can’t tell which one is being referred to in the comments sidebar. One might be following the Wednesday dump’s comments very closely and not really care much about the Thursday dump.

  • magetoo

    The “link dump” kind of post is useful to me, at least. I don’t follow a million feeds in an RSS reader but just dip in to a handful of blogs now and then, and it’s a good way to branch out to stuff you wouldn’t have looked up by yourself.

    And of course the format means you can get some more unexpected connections out of your blog reading rather than just what your friendly neighborhood blogger thinks naturally fits into some other more serious post, or what is interesting enough to get its own post/commentary. (Some comment about “why this is interesting” is a good idea though.)

    So I think it’s pretty good the way things are, in other words.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    eric, good idea re: tagging date. i get confused myself about this.

  • getto

    i like the link dump but only because you happen to be a good digger. most bloggers suck at link digging but you’re good at finding the gold nuggets;)

  • http://raysawhill.com Ray Sawhill

    I love your data dumps. Bring ‘em on. Adds some dimensions to your other blogging, plus they give me links to click on. I like clicking on links.

  • Sandgroper

    I like the links with the commentary, but I’ll go with Eric’s comment too – like Friday’s Data Dump, etc. Or the date would be even better, but whatever is not difficult would be fine.

  • miko

    I’m convinced, I did not adequately appreciate the lead-in commentary, and they are interesting links…

    As for one of the links above, Eurasians can write their own ticket in most of SE Asia, if by “writing your own ticket” you mean appearing in lots of shampoo ads.

  • http://uppershelf.com zyxwvutsr

    "There is evidence, albeit anecdotal, that the impact of heterosis goes beyond just attractiveness. This comes from the observation that, although mixed-race people make up a small proportion of the population, they are over-represented at the top level of a number of meritocratic professions like acting with Halle Berry, Formula 1 racing with Lewis Hamilton; and, of course, politics with Barack Obama."

    They should have opened with that quote to notify us right up front that this was junk science.

  • http://entitledtoanopinion.wordpress.com TGGP

    #4 reminds me of this.

  • asdf

    New financial regulations won’t stop anything. Not only did Sarbanes-Oxley erected in the wake of Enron did nothing to stop the mortgage shenanigans, this particular mortgage disaster was actually caused by the government’s lending policies and made far worse by the policy of bailouts.

    The only financial regulations which are necessary are the sharp curtailment of fractional reserve banking and the requirement that people who make bad bets in the market lose their shirts. No inflationary bailouts hustled through with phantom threats of financial contagion.

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This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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