Daily Data Dump – Tuesday

By Razib Khan | August 17, 2010 11:29 am

How much of the genome is transcribed? Or, the utility of a good genome browser. One of the issues with science today are the necessary capital inputs which make it such a narrow and focused vocation. But there are lots of things you as an individual can discern by poking around the public tools.

‘Mitochondrial Eve’: Mother of All Humans Lived 200,000 Years Ago. That should be a mother of all humans. Ever since the term ‘mitochondrial Eve’ was coined in the mid-80s it’s been nearly impossible to fight against the idea that ‘Eve’ was the only mother because of the mythological baggage. Quite often in science you need a good ‘hook’ if you want to get your idea ‘out there,’ but this is a case where the hook is now in the driver’s seat. I mean, the result reported here is probably worthwhile, there have long been problems with dating the timing of the last common ancestor of all human mitochondrial DNA, but it wouldn’t get press were it not for the vehicle of that mtDNA, the woman labelled ‘Eve’ (and apparently now referenced in science fiction shows).

Libertopia, with asterisks. John Quiggin suggests that the land-surplus in the early American republic made libertarianism feasible. This may be correct, but, I think it is interesting that conservatives make similar critiques of liberalism more generally. By liberalism I include Left-liberalism, libertarianism, and liberal conservatism (the American Republican party has been liberal conservative for the past generation). Of course in this case it’s not just land-surplus, but economic productivity growth and the consumer society above the Malthusian trap in general which fosters the liberal order. The argument is laid out in The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth. (link via Randy McDonald)

mtDNA relics in south China. With an N ~ 6,000 you can find really low frequency variants. This is important, and something that has been neglected due to constraints of the technology. But is 6,000 so many? 23andMe has more than 50,000 customers, over half of whom have the ability to download 550,000 SNPs as a text file.

I’m one of the nerds out there who doesn’t play any electronic games of any sort. I gave up at the age of 16 when I realized how much time I was sinking into John Madden Football. But I still find this song catchy (I assume my numerous virgin readers are already aware, but so be it):

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Comments (6)

  1. I wasn’t aware because I don’t play such games either.

    Patri Friedman is explicit about the frontier factor and says part of his goal is to recreate the frontier.

  2. Insightful

    Razib, by analyzing the Y chromosome DNA from males in all regions of the world, geneticist Spencer Wells has concluded that all humans alive today are patrilineally descended from a single man who lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago.

    This would mean that there is an upper limit on when the OOA migration would’ve occured. Wells says his evidence based on DNA in the Y-chromosome indicates that the exodus began between 60,000 and 50,000 years ago. In his view, the early travelers followed the southern coastline of Asia, crossed about 250 kilometers [155 miles] of sea, and colonized Australia by around 50,000 years ago. The Aborigines of Australia, Wells says, are the descendants of the first wave of migration out of Africa.

    Do you believe this date of 60 -70,000 years is too late for the most recent common male ancestor (scientific Adam) of all living humans today?.?.? By the way, this would mean that Adam lived CLOSER to our time than he did to Eve’s, which was 130-140,000 years earlier…

  3. I believe the “effective population” of males is smaller (humanity has more female ancestors than males). This is because of polygny. So we should expect “Adam” to be more recent.

  4. are you saying that for years it didnt take a male and female mating to start a child? NO mating.what did i miss??


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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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