New Twists on the Double Helix

i-f8154d0a659650961de81dff61d67948-helixbuzz.jpgForget fashion; when it comes to expressing yourself, it’s your genes that wear you! On Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong discusses the explosive evolution of AEM genes in humans and elephants—two long-lived, social animals with “very, very large brains.” Big brains need more juice to function, and AEM genes, which govern how mitochondria metabolize food energy, may be a key to evolving intelligence. On Gene Expression, Razib Khan explores the links between gene transmission and language transmission, writing that “linguistic affinity” could modulate gene flow, and vice versa. On Mike the Mad Biologist, Mike flays proponents of “genetic conservatism,” who believe that IQ is highly heritable and educating everyone is a waste of money. This attitude leads Mike to wonder, “What is the genetic heritability of being an ***hole?” Finally, Daniel MacArthur on Genetic Future reports the bankruptcy of deCODE Genetics and the revamped product lineup at 23andMe, suggesting that personal genomics may need a new business model.

Links below the fold.

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