Royal incest: the arguments for

The magazine wanted to put this rather shocking news in context, so they asked me to write about why incestuous marriages and matings have not been terribly uncommon among royalty through the ages — or, as the article’s subtitle puts it, “Why King Tut’s family was not the only royalty tohave close relations among its close relations. ” 650 words or less. … Matings between close relatives can raise the danger that harmful recessive genes, especially if combined repeatedly through generations, will match up in the offspring, leading to elevated chances of health or developmental problems—perhaps Tut’s partially cleft palate and congenitally deformed foot or Charles’s small stature and impotence.

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Neuron Culture Top Five, April 2010

Ed Yong , Mo Costandi , Scientific American , and others have covered nicely a new paper finding that people with WIlliams syndrome (a condition I’ve been interested in since writing a long feature about it for the Times Magazine a few years back) show little or no racial bias.
… After I wrote in my Atlantic article about getting my serotonin transporter gene assayed (which revealed that I carry that gene’s apparently more plastic short-short form), I started getting a lot of email — several a week — from readers asking how to have their SERT gene tested.

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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.

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Ezra Klein – America spends way, way, way more on health care

We don’t have a government-run system. But our system is so expensive that our government’s partial role is pricier than the whole of government-run systems. via voices.washingtonpost.com Absorb that: Our supposedly efficient supposedly free-market healthcare system costs us more in government spending alone than other countries spend on government-run systems. Posted via web from David […]

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