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…As of April, no fewer than 25 cancer drugs that prolong life will be withdrawn by the fund.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


SNP victory could split Britain

…To the SNP, the next general election is just a staging post. Winning a majority of Scottish seats would be an excellent start, but influencing the governance of the UK is of relatively minor importance. Any deal with Labour — or even a stage-managed week of negotiations — will be conducted with the 2016 Holyrood elections in mind. An SNP majority next year would bring the power to call for a second referendum. And if a majority of Scottish voters call for one, through an SNP (and Green) vote, how can Westminster reasonably say no? This is why so many Scottish unionists will vote tactically in May: it is crucial that the nationalists’ momentum is checked now.

Then comes Europe. Should Cameron lose the election less badly than Miliband and earn a second term, he is committed to a referendum on EU membership. While Scots are more Eurosceptic than the SNP allows (a third say they would vote to leave), the English are still far more likely to vote to leave the EU. If they do, and Scotland votes to stay in, the thirst for independence might prove unquenchable. (Equally, how would England react if Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish votes determined the outcome of the EU referendum?) Cameron’s European difficulties are another opportunity for the nationalists. And a reminder that the Union can be lost in London as well as in Scotland….

dis gonna be good anticipation pull up a chair listen watch

Nationalism is contagious, mind.

26 million UK Muslims by 2051?

….All of that is true, and might be a reasonable objection to the calculations presented above. So might the possibility that non-Muslim British birth rates could rise, thus more than off-setting any Muslim increase. Indeed, there is some evidence that this might be happening in some European countries.

However, for a high immigration country such as Britain, it’s a matter of when that British Muslim demographic transition happens.

At the moment there is little sign of British Muslim birth rates significantly falling. According to the Office for National Statistics, Pakistan-born women in Britain have an average of 4∙7 children, while Bangladeshi women in Britain have 3∙9, both significantly above that average British birth rate of 1∙6 children.

Furthermore, as Britain continues to attract a high number of relatively poor Third World immigrants, inherited cultural patterns of large families could remain an enduring feature of Britain’s immigrant community.

In those circumstances, the demographic transition date could well be indefinitely postponed….

ISIS destroy priceless art, sculptures, books…

…every culture superior to their own, in essence.

Their reason is Islam. Commands to destroy.
As you can imagine, this isn’t properly covered in The Guardian.

what wtf blackadder

The Christian kidnapping are still flying under the radar.