Human cortical evolution gene found: ARHGAP11B

memo: Thickness of the cerebral cortex is a good proxy for intelligence.

Several years ago, another group had discovered that this gene had arisen after an ancestral gene made an incomplete copy of itself. Because humans had the additional version whereas chimps did not, they concluded that the duplication occurred after the human and chimp lineages split off. Neither mice nor chimps have ARHGAP11B, but modern humans and their ancient relatives, the Denisovans and Neandertals, do. “That it was a human-specific gene duplication made it very exciting,” Huttner says.

You WANT wrinkles on your brain.

Brevity is the soul of scientific publishing

I endorse this. If you can’t condense it, is it science? [cough liberal arts cough]

“There is intellectual capital locked up in the heads of scientists rather than circulating in the scientific community … people often get similar ideas around about the same time, frantically work on it for quite a long time, put a lot of resources into it, without even necessarily knowing if there are other people doing the exact same thing.”

The premise behind his site is for scientists to be able to quickly publish something akin to a hypothesis on their research (in 200 words or less). This would enable other scientists, who may be working on the same project, to connect — it’s like a social network for research. It could also help settle any disputes on the “whose idea it was first” debate.

NHS: Cancer or condoms?

…As of April, no fewer than 25 cancer drugs that prolong life will be withdrawn by the fund.

Imagine how these cancer patients and their families must have felt this week when, following a major trial on a £12-a-day drug which helps prevent people catching HIV, they learned researchers were recommending that healthy gay men should be given it free on the NHS at a cost of almost £5,000 a year per person.

All so that the lucky recipients can have unprotected sex with less chance of catching HIV…

What kind of ethics is it to save one group of society from a disease that can be prevented by using a £1 condom, while denying cancer sufferers a longer life?….

People are not one group anymore, they’re interest groups. The cancer group don’t have the hate speech laws on their side and numerous legal counsel to protect the ‘rights’ which aren’t rights.

First they came for the albinos

I can’t summarise, it’s too good.

..Estimates vary, but since the year 2000 anywhere from 70-200 albinos have been mercilessly hunted “like animals” and hacked to death in East Africa to fuel this odd and gruesome corpse-grinding market demand. Victims often have their limbs severed while they’re alive due to a superstition that their dead body parts will glow with added mojo if the victim was screaming while they were being slaughtered…