Monthly Archives: March 2010

Our genome: Ten years old and still growing fast

Meanwhile, Nature pulls out quite a few stops with a package that highlights the value of having their entire news department now freely online.  I’m not all the way through it yet, but this looks to be a splendid collection of stories — perhaps as good a reading assignment as you could ask for. … The regulation of gene expression, she notes — that is, what makes genes turn on and off — “seemed more or less solved 50 years ago” and could be concisely summarized: “‘The crux of regulation,’ says the 1997 genetics textbook Genes VI (Oxford Univ.

Accidental brain evolution suffers a reversal

201003291618.jpg Early homind skulls, from A Kansan’s Guide to Science (seriously) A couple weeks ago, the Guardian ran an article in which Oxford neurobiologist Colin Blakemore described ” how the human got bigger by accident and not through evolution .”
…Because if “modern” humans suddenly showed up in Africa 200,000 years ago, and all of a sudden had vastly larger brains than any other hominins, wouldn’t that be a simple and tidy story?

The old print roots of blogging. Mostly SFW

How new, then, is bloggery? Should we think of it as a by-product of the modern means of communication and a sign of a time when newspapers seem doomed to obsolescence? It makes the most of technical innovations—the possibility of constant contact with virtual communities by means of web sites and the premium placed on…

Choosing not to use genetic testing is an option. Ignorance isn’t.

Daniel McArthur and Daniel Vorhaus have a beef:
Earlier this month, the Sunday Times published an op-ed piece by Camilla Long critiquing the practice and business of direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing (“When DNA means do not ask”). It is Long’s right, of course, to express her opinions, but the article is peppered with factual inaccuracies and exaggerations that demand correction.

There will always be a Britain

RT @AlexConnor At UK space launch. There is an astronaut, a load of well-badged kids, a couple of lords and a soldier wearing gold rope. Sent from Echofon – David Dobbs Typos courtesy of thumbs and iPhone Posted via email from David Dobbs’s Somatic Marker

Gleanings – mind & brain, law and war, media, bad trains

Mind, brain, and body (including those gene things) While reading Wolpert’s review of Greenberg’s book, I found that the Guardian has a particularly rich trove of writings and resources on depression , some of it drawing on resources at BMJ (the journal formerly known as the British Medical Journal). … The backchannel is the twitter stream that audience members now rather routinely produce while a conference speaker or panel holds forth at the front of the room; it carries hideous dangers for the unwary, unprepared, or just plain unlikeable speaker.