Genetics and Society in the News:
- Kong et al. 2016. Selection against variants in the genome associated with educational attainment. PNAS. Genetic analysis of 100,000 icelanders finds that the “hereditary capacity for education” has decreased in recent years.
- Related news story. Genetic appetite for education on the wane.
- Galaneter et al. 2017. Differential methylation between ethnic subgroups reflects the effect of genetic ancestry and environmental exposures. eLIFE. T
- Esteban Brochard. Differential methylation between ethnic subgroups reflects the effect of genetic ancestry and environmental exposures. Galanter et al. 2017 eLIFE. This article looks at self identified and genetic ancestry. They account for 75% of methylation from ancestry. Is the rest environmental?
- Related news story. Nicholas Weiler. 2017. Cultural differences may leave their mark on DNA.
- Ted Chiang (author of “Story of Your Life” short story that the movie “Arrival” is based on) has a cyber punk/sci fi short story “72 Letters” that touches on the issues of eugenics and genetic engineering.
- Sense about Science has a new page on what DNA at crime scenes can tell you:
- Conley and Domingue. The Bell Curve Revisited: Testing Controversial Hypotheses with Molecular Genetic Data. This work from Ben Domingue is a direct test of bell curve hypothesis using genome wide molecular markers. They conclude that GWAS data no or weak evidence for bell curve hypothesis.
- Scientists are planning a march on Washington: http://www.scientistsmarchonwashington.com/
Article for Discussion:
- David S. Moore and David Shenk. 2016. The Heritability Fallacy. WIREs Cognitive Science
- Some of us shared it with non-geneticists. They thought it was easy to understand and enjoyed the examples
- Is this the narrow or wide definition of heritability? The narrow definition involves additive genetic variance, this doesn’t. This article only looks at broad genetic variance
- Heritability calculations are important for controlled breeding conditions. It’s a useful tool for breeders. Tells you what you can get done. It’s not as useful for human populations.
- The article makes an important distinction between individual vs population inheritance. There is a desire among individuals to know what you got from other people in your family. To what extent can you know what you inherited and that it’s the cause of disease?
- Monogenic diseases are still not monodeterministic. There is a range of expression of genes and the effect of other genes to consider. You can not say for certain if you’ll get a disease (CF has 2000 alleles).
- Statisticians in early 20th century all agreed that statistics in social science was wrong. It was a method for assessing degree of certainty, not degree of truth
- Old ideas never die – do new biology textbooks to justice to the new topics in human genetics? Apparently not
- We inherit developmental resources not traits. Do traits even exist? There are sub-histories for everything we might consider a trait. As you look closer, over and over again, there isn’t one thing that explains the train, especially for behavior (ex: intelligence). This article should also describe what is and isn’t a trait.