Search Results for 'heritability'

Thinking about heritability

October 3, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

Heritability: The heritability of a trait within a population is the proportion of observable differences in a trait between individuals within a population that is due to genetic differences. Factors including genetics, environment and random chance can all contribute to the variation between individuals in their observable characteristics (in their “phenotypes”)…Heritability thus analyzes the relative […]

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The heritability of impulse control

August 26, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

The above figure is from a paper I stumbled upon, Genetic and environmental influences on impulsivity: a meta-analysis of twin, family and adoption studies:

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Heritability of behavioral traits

June 28, 2012 | By | 32 Comments

As a father the content of my conversations with friends and acquaintances has changed somewhat. Whereas in my offline life discussions of behavior genetics rarely came up, now they loom large implicitly and explicitly. Though the vast majority of people I interact with have graduate degrees or are pursuing graduate degrees in the life sciences […]

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Most people don't understand "heritability"

January 29, 2012 | By | 14 Comments

According to the reader survey 88 percent said they understood what heritability was. But only 34 percent understood the concept of additive genetic variance. For the purposes of this weblog it highlights that most people don’t understand heritability, but rather heritability. The former is the technical definition of heritability which I use on this weblog, […]

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More on the "missing heritability" and epistasis

January 9, 2012 | By | 8 Comments

Please see Luke Jostins’ posts at Genetic Inference and Genomes Unzipped. Update: Steve Hsu weighs in. He read the supplements! Mad props.

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"Missing heritability" – interaction edition

January 6, 2012 | By | 18 Comments

The Pith: A great deal of important medical genetic differences between people may be due to the nature of interactions of genetic variants. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that there is a question in genomics right now as to “missing heritability.” The issue is basically that there are traits […]

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Who knows heritability and what do they know

July 20, 2011 | By | 5 Comments

Heritability is a fraught topic. It comes up repeatedly on this weblog, but even long time readers can be confused as to its implications, as evidenced by the incorrect inferences made from their own understanding of the concept. The most common problem is that too often people think that heritability is just a scienced up […]

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Heritability and genomics of facial characteristics

June 27, 2011 | By | 4 Comments

On several occasions I’ve gotten into discussions with geneticists about the possibility of reconstructing someone’s facial structure by genes alone. Combined with advances in pigmentation prediction by genetics, this could put the sketch artist out of business! But all that begs the question: how heritable are facial features anyhow? Impressionistically we know that feature are […]

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Does heritability of political orientation matter?

June 17, 2011 | By | 23 Comments

At The Intersection Chris Mooney points to new research which reiterates that 1) political ideology exhibits some heritability, 2) and, there are associations between political ideology and specific genes. I’ll set #2 aside for now, because this is a classic “more research needed” area at this point. But as I mentioned in the comments the […]

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It's about heritability….

March 27, 2011 | By | 21 Comments

I’m going to promote a comment:

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Friends & genes & heritability

January 19, 2011 | By | 5 Comments

A few people have inquired of the PNAS paper On sharing genes with friends. I avoided comment in part because I’m skeptical of the findings. So much behavior genomics just hasn’t panned out over the long term, and is probably susceptible to the issues which fuel the “decline effect”. Statistical significance is a random variable […]

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Heritability and genes as causes

December 22, 2010 | By | 8 Comments

Since the beginning of this weblog (I’ve been writing for eight years) heritability has been a major confusion. Even long time readers misunderstand what I’m trying to get at when I talk about heritability. That’s why posts such as Mr. Luke Jostins‘ are so helpful. I had seen references to a piece online, The Causes of […]

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Knowledge of heritability, ignorance of genes

December 8, 2010 | By | 7 Comments

Does the Slut Gene Exist?: The DRD4 study isn’t an isolated case of shaky genetic science. In fact, it joins a cadre of questionable scientific assertions that link single genes to much broader patterns of behavior. The last decade has witnessed an explosion in genetics studies, and with it, a proliferation of sensational study results […]

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Heritability and fitness

October 11, 2010 | By | 15 Comments

Words matter, and they can confuse. Here’s Wikipedia’s preamble for heritability: Heritability is the proportion of phenotypic variation in a population that is attributable to genetic variation among individuals. Phenotypic variation among individuals may be due to genetic and/or environmental factors. Heritability analyses estimate the relative contributions of differences in genetic and non-genetic factors to […]

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Heritability, personality, and genomics

August 9, 2010 | By | 21 Comments

This post by Neurocritic, Bad News for the Genetics of Personality, is going to get a lot of play. The boy-king of the cognitive neuroscience blogosphere has already smiled upon it, and extended the analysis a bit. The short of it is that one needs to be very skeptical of the idea large effect QTLs […]

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Heritability of height vs. weight

July 30, 2009 | By | 16 Comments

Megan McArdle has a post, Thining Thin, a follow up to America’s Moral Panic Over Obesity. She says: 1. Obesity is increasing in the population, so it can’t be genetic. Well, average height is also increasing in the population. Does that mean that you could be as tall as me, if you weren’t too lazy […]

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Heritability of voting

June 27, 2008 | By | 4 Comments

I just read an interesting new paper, Genetic Variation in Political Participation: The decision to vote has puzzled scholars for decades…The results show that a significant proportion of the variation in voting turnout can be accounted for by genes. We also replicate these results with data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and […]

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Genes are necessary, but not sufficient, for heritability

November 14, 2007 | By | 3 Comments

I’ve discussed heritability quite a bit on this weblog. Over the past 5 years of blogging on genetic topics this is the #1 issue I’ve been attempting to nail into the heads of readers because it is a concept which is critical in correctly modeling the world around us. It isn’t an idea which is […]

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Heritability of religiosity

November 25, 2006 | By | 5 Comments

Below I made a reference to the heritability of religiosity. In a chat with Christer Chris that the heritability for religiosity was 0.5, and he was surprised at the result. I decided to double-check, and here is the latest paper: Estimates of the degree of genetic and environmental influences on religiousness have varied widely. This […]

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Heritability and the mind….

June 19, 2006 | By | 6 Comments

Jake at Pure Pedantry has a lengthy post on heritability. It makes concrete (using real psychological illneses, etc.) some of my points in my previous post where I discuss the complexity of behavioral genetics. Two issues of note. First, Jake used the example of Huntington’s Disease as “100% heritable.” I think this is going to […]

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