Posts Tagged ‘sciencepodcast2014’

The genetics of Mexico recapitulates Native American substructure and affects biomedical traits

August 28, 2015

[Population] genetics of Mexico by @cdbustamante lab Has groups as divergent from each other as Europeans v Asians

We found striking genetic stratification among indigenous populations within Mexico at varying degrees of geographic isolation. Some groups were as differentiated as Europeans are from East Asians.
Pre-Columbian genetic substructure is recapitulated in the indigenous ancestry of admixed mestizo individuals across the country.

The genetics of indigenous Mexicans exhibit substantial geographical structure, some as divergent from each other as are existing populations of Europeans and Asians.

Did natural selection make the Dutch the tallest people on the planet?

June 16, 2015

Did natural #selection make the Dutch the tallest people on the
planet? Height spurt in last century not all nurture

“This study drives home the message that the human population is still subject to natural selection,” says Stephen Stearns, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University who wasn’t involved in the study. “It strikes at the core of our understanding of human nature, and how malleable it is.” It also confirms what Stearns knows from personal experience about the population in the northern Netherlands, where the study took place: “Boy, they are tall.”

“For many years, the U.S. population was the tallest in the world. In the 18th century, American men were 5 to 8 centimeters taller than those in the Netherlands. Today, Americans are the fattest, but they lost the race for height to northern Europeans—including Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, and Estonians—sometime in the 20th century.

Just how these peoples became so tall isn’t clear, however. Genetics has an important effect on body height: Scientists have found at least 180 genes that influence how tall you become. Each one has only a small effect, but together, they may explain up to 80% of the variation in height within a population. Yet environmental factors play a huge role as well. The children of Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, for instance, grew much taller than their parents. Scientists assume that a diet rich in milk and meat played a major role.

The Dutch have become so much taller in such a short period that scientists chalk most of it up to their changing environment. As the Netherlands developed, it became one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of cheese and milk. An increasingly egalitarian distribution of wealth and universal access to health care may also have helped.”

High hopes

June 1, 2015

High hopes Resurgence interest in the medical benefits of #psychedelics. Is it possible to get them without the high?

Mountain gorilla genomes reveal the impact of long-term population decline and inbreeding

May 25, 2015

Mtn gorilla genomes reveal…impact of long-term…inbreeding Pop. variation so low that very deleterious SNPs purged

Science 10 April 2015:
Vol. 348 no. 6231 pp. 242-245
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa3952

Mountain gorilla genomes reveal the impact of long-term population decline and inbreeding

Yali Xue1,*,
Javier Prado-Martinez2,*,
Peter H. Sudmant3,*,

Tomas Marques-Bonet2,12,
Chris Tyler-Smith1,†,
Aylwyn Scally13,†

Rebooting MOOC Research

May 15, 2015

Rebooting #MOOC Research
Perspective from an #education institution: How to measure engagement of the student?

The brain chip

May 13, 2015

The brain chip #Neuromorphic #computers overcome bottlenecks in classic von Neumann architecture

QT:{{"…consists of 20,000 chips, each of which represents 1000 neurons. This fall, Furber says, he expects that number will rise to 100,000 chips representing 100 million neu-rons, and eventually a 1-million-chip system representing 1 billion neurons—about 1% of the neurons in the human brain

All computer chips made today rely on the same general architecture that was outlined nearly 70 years ago. This architecture separates the two primary tasks a chip needs to carry out—processing and memory—into different regions and continuously communicates data back and forth. Though this strategy works well for crunching numbers and running spreadsheets, it’s much less efficient for handling tasks that manage vast amounts of data, such as vision and language processing. But in recent years, researchers around the globe have been pursuing a new approach called neuromorphic computing. On page 668 of this issue, researchers at IBM and Cornell University report creating the world’s first production-scale neuromorphic computing chip. The novel approach to hardware is made up of 5.4 billion transistors that are wired to emulate a brain with 1 million "neurons" that talk to one another via 256 million "synapses."


His brain, her brain?

May 13, 2015

His brain, her brain? Neurosexism potentially results from multiple testing & only publishing positives

Longitudinal analysis of microbial interaction between humans and the indoor environment

May 3, 2015

Microbial interaction betw humans & the indoor environment
Unique personal signatures w/ implications for #forensics

Places change to conform to signature…..

Reverse-engineering censorship in China: Randomized experimentation and participant observation

May 2, 2015

Reverse-engineering #censorship in #China: Randomized expts Criticism is ok but calls for collective action are not

Transmissible Dog Cancer Genome Reveals the Origin and History of an Ancient Cell Lineage

May 2, 2015

Transmissible Dog #Cancer #Genome Reveals…History of…Cell Lineage 1.9M somatic mutations from origin ~11K yrs ago