Search Results for 'heritability'

Predicting someone's face: look at their parents

September 14, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

A few years ago there was a paper out which illustrated that standard Galtonian method of regression of offspring upon parents still predicted height far better than the most modern genomic techniques. The issue is that height is a quantitative trait whose variation is controlled by variants at hundreds, and likely thousands, of loci. Generating […]

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Me & my 0.55 brother against my 0.45 brother

September 4, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

One of the more fascinating things about getting much of your child’s pedigree genotyped is that one can ascertain true relatedness to various relatives, rather than just expected relatedness. For example, 28% of her genome is identical by descent from my father, while 22% is from my mother. She is 26% identical by descent with […]

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The educated and conservative think fatness is a choice

September 1, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

After the post on fatness and homophobia I decided to query the GSS on the extent to which people think that fatness has a strong biological element, similar to homosexuality. There’s a variable, GENENVO1. It asks: Character, personality, and many types of behavior are influenced both by the genes people inherit from their parents and […]

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A political animal in the genes

August 28, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Trends in Genetics has a review article, The genetics of politics: discovery, challenges, and progress. The main reason I point to these sorts of papers isn’t that I think they’re revolutionary. Usually they aren’t. Rather, the public domain has totally forgotten about this domain of study. Most of the informed and high-toned discussion presumes that […]

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The heritability of impulse control

August 26, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

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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Why aren't we all tall?

August 9, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

There’s a fair amount of social science and anecdata that tall males are more reproductively fit. More precisely, males one to two standard deviations above the norm in height seem to be at the “sweet spot” as an idealized partner (e.g., leading males). And, short men often have fewer children. Short women will pair up […]

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No vindication of Joseph Greenberg?

July 25, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

A reader pointed me to this critique of Nick Wades’ telling in The New York Times Reports that the recent Reich et al. paper on Native Americans is a vindication of Joseph Greenberg’s ideas on the languages of the Americas. 90-Year-Old Consensus: Nicholas Wade’s reported the Reich et al. research in the New York Times […]

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Inbred shorter people

July 20, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Evidence of Inbreeding Depression on Human Height, a paper with over 1,000 authors! (I exaggerate) It’s interesting because it seems to establish that inbreeding does have a deleterious effect on traits whose genetic architecture is presumably polygenic and additive. Why is this theoretically important? Because inbreeding depression is often assumed to be driven by the […]

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Society seen through genes

July 15, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Over the past few months more and more articles like this one in the The New York Times are coming out, Two Classes, Divided by ‘I Do’: Jessica Schairer has so much in common with her boss, Chris Faulkner, that a visitor to the day care center they run might get them confused. They are […]

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Heritability of behavioral traits

June 28, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

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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Genes can be criminogenic

June 26, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

As a follow-up to my post below, I just wanted to check some recent literature on crime and heritability. I found this, Heritability, Assortative Mating and Gender Differences in Violent Crime: Results from a Total Population Sample Using Twin, Adoption, and Sibling Models: Research addressing genetic and environmental determinants to antisocial behaviour suggests substantial variability […]

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Genes are overrated, genetics is underrated

May 16, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

A few days ago Nathaniel Comfort pointed me to this post, Genetic determinism round-up. If you are curious go read Comfort’s whole post. I honestly didn’t enjoy it very much, I think I got what he was saying, but there were all sorts of circumlocutions around the overall message. But I agree one one thing […]

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Case closed: blonde Melanesians understood

May 3, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

As a small child perusing old physical anthropology books I would occasionally stumble upon images of people of Oceanian stock with light hair color. I would wonder: is this a biological or cultural feature? In other words, were people bleaching their hair? If it was biological, was it heritable, or was it simply malnutrition? Another […]

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Jonathan Haidt & Robert Wright: crazy delicious

March 31, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Last night I listened to a very long discussion between Robert Wright, author of The Moral Animal, and Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. If you have been reading my weblog for years there may not be much new, but if you haven’t, then you’ll […]

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Where the wild clines aren't

March 7, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

In the recent ‘do human races’ exist controversy Nick Matzke’s post Continuous geographic structure is real, “discrete races” aren’t has become something of a touchstone (perhaps a post like Cosma Shalizi’s on I.Q. and heritability).* In the post Matzke emphasized the idea of clines, roughly a continuous gradient of genetic change over space. Fair enough. […]

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Most people don't understand "heritability"

January 29, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

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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1 migrant needed to prevent genetic divergence

January 26, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

In the survey below I asked if you knew about how many migrants per generation were needed to prevent divergence between populations. About ~80 percent of you stated you did not know the answer. That was not totally surprising to me. The reason I asked is that the result is moderately obscure, but also rather […]

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More on the "missing heritability" and epistasis

January 9, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

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 | Add a Comment

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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Are genes the key to the Yankee Empire?

December 31, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

That’s the question a commenter poses, albeit with skepticism. First, the background here. New England was a peculiar society for various demographic reasons. In the early 17th century there was a mass migration of Puritan Protestants from England to the colonies which later became New England because of their religious dissent from the manner in […]

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