Daily Data Dump – Wednesday

By Razib Khan | September 22, 2010 11:35 am

Freshman Weight Gain: Women With Heavy Roommates Gain Less, Study Finds. I guess the model makes sense, but it really makes one wonder about the power of prior expectations about these sorts of things. There just so many plausible stories for any given set of data.

Why Does Spicy Food Taste Hot? The feeling of “heat” from the active ingredient in spicy food is an illusion due an accident of physiology. I obviously really love spicy food, even though the heat isn’t “real.” It makes me wonder about the idea that we shouldn’t just plug ourselves into sensation generation machines if we ever had the technology.

Ninety Years of Drosophila melanogaster Hybrids. I assume there’ll be a bit celebration in 10 years?

Natural Selection and the Distribution of Identity-by-Descent in the Human Genome. Shows how the haplotype based tests to detect natural selection can be thought of as simply detecting patterns of identity-by-descent within the genome. They whip out the HapMap3 data set.

Misconduct case taints research. Depressing. The Hauser affair is going to have a “long tail” after the media’s forgotten all about it.

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Comments (5)

  1. Antonio

    “There just so many plausible stories for any given set of data.” Very true for social sciences, broadly conceived. Economists try to get around this by writing formal models, so that they can give the impression that the story being told is THE story. Misleading and not useful.

  2. I actually lost weight my freshman year, and I did have an obese roommate. I highly doubt that the two are related, however. More like I was doing a lot more walking on a daily basis than I had ever done before in my life.

  3. Tom Bri

    Interesting little article on spicy. Love it myself. Why do we like it? Maybe we are evolved to like warm food, even hot, depending on your estimation of how long people have been scorching meat (or tubers). Fits the data as well as this guy’s idea that we like pain.

  4. Tom Bri

    Most places where spicy food is popular have hot climates. You flush, sweat and drink water after eating. Get cooler, feel better.


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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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