Tag Archives: Genetics/Epigenetics

Posts about genetics and epigenetics.

Wednesday Links

Wednesday Links

Colin McGinn, in the New York Review of books, has plenty to say to Ray Kurzweil (and anyone else who thinks that brains are like computers) in his review of “How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed.”

The only people who think that there’s such a thing as genetic determinism are environmental determinists. So over at Discover online, An anthropologist explains the gene!

If these porn stars‘ before pictures were put up on facebook, there’d be no shortage of nasty comments about their looks. The transformations are amazing – and show how deceptive makeup can be!

Scientific American shares some interesting history about, um, butt-wiping.

I suppose if you’re going to major in something dangerous, it helps to be able to laugh about it.

When I first saw the video of this amazing small space, I didn’t think about much else but how cool it was. Gawker, on the other hand, has some insightful things to say about its owner’s exhortation to “live with less.”


I saw this adorable page of what looked like a pet otter. Obviously, I needed to read it in English to find out um, what goes into obtaining caring for one of these sweet little creatures. Let’s just say that Google translate still has a few bugs to work out! (I’m especially fond of the picture subtitled, “Dark, dark, dark cousin dark ~ ♪ ~ ♪ ~ Dai favorite Crotch, crotch, crotch crotch us ~ ♪ ~ ♪ ~ Dai favorite”)

Wednesday Links

Wednesday Links

Do yourself a favor and buy or download The Holy Family. It’s a story that follows a man on his path from faith to unbelief, and shows eloquently how he manages to live and love with triumph and tragedy, just like any other person. Even if it hadn’t been written by a friend of mine, I’d be telling you to read it.

A pharmacist weighs in on the (lack of) benefits of dietary supplements.

Researchers have a new tool to help find the genetic causes of disease. Edit the genome of a stem cell and see if it gets sick. . .sounds crazy, but it seems to have potential!

Right after reading an essay by neuropsychologist Vaughn Bell about how the human brain is not as simple as we think, which talks about how neuroscience findings are being dumbed down and twisted to confirm folk wisdom even when they don’t. . .there’s an example of this very thing in action. Athena Andreadis writes in a Scientific American blog about a language gene study being misinterpreted as scientific confirmation that women talk more than men. (N.B., that’s not what it says. . .) Which, of course, brings me back to Dr. Steven Novella’s excellent post from December about why people turn to alternative medicine. Confirmation bias trumps cognitive dissonance every time.


Epigenetics Links

Epigenetics Links

Starting with the easiest one. . .Hank from scishow (subscribe!!) explains epigenetics:

And Scitable, the student section of Nature Online, explains some of the history of the discovery of epigenetics. (Again, subscribe. This is a great place to get free, reputable science information that’s easy to understand.)

Three videos of talks from Harvard graduate students about epigenetic studies in mice. Part 1, part 2, and part 3. They’re a good introduction, but make note that the longevity of the epigenetic effect described turned out to be not quite as promising as they thought it would be back when these were made.

FAQ about the epigenome from the National Human Genome Research Institute.

A good overview, maybe not for an absolute novice, but it comes with pictures: Epigenetics

P. Z. Myers gives an overview from the perspective of a university biology professor.

Jerry Coyne, author of “Why Evolution is True”, has several good posts about it on his blog, here, here, here, here, and here.

ERV gets into some of the more complex aspects of what it is here.

Kevin Mitchell goes into some of the problems surrounding epigenetics and its misunderstanding. Part 1 and part 2.

And, of course, the incomparable Orac both explains what epigenetics is and how it’s not what quacks are telling you it is here. Not only will you understand it better, but you’ll be able to spot the lying liars.

A study on the possible epigenetic changes in twins.

Questions begin to arise about the heritability of environmental epigenetic changes, and whether animal models translate to humans in this study from Nature.

Wednesday Links

Wednesday Links

A collection of photos that show beauty in decay.

Did the ancient Egyptians play Dungeons and Dragons?

Now I’m going to have to learn more about mitochondrial DNA – P.Z. Myers explains why your mother’s mDNA might influence your lifespan.

It looks like the FDA is finally putting the moves on fake cancer doctor Stanislaw Burzynski

But the FDA is powerless right now when it comes to protecting us from other, potentially more dangerous medical threats. Now that Massachusetts has finally gotten its act together and actually inspected its compounding pharmacies, only 4 out of 37 passed.

Greg Laden goes to visit a creationist science fair. At least these kids are homeschooled. Some politicians want us to pay for this kind of education with our tax dollars.