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Paralith

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About Paralith

  • Rank
    Molecule
  • Birthday 06/22/1984

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  • Website URL
    http://blogs.scienceforums.net/monkeysinclothes/

Profile Information

  • Location
    Washington, DC
  • College Major/Degree
    University of Michigan, BS in Biology
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Behavioral ecology and evolution, neurobiology
  • Occupation
    Genetic Medicine Research Assistant
  1. I understand X linked diseases and how they affect men more often. The wording in the post I responded to seemed to be suggesting that all were more aggressive and/or violent than women due to this. Apparently I misunderstood, and I apologize.
  2. Men still have another X chromosome, and only one X chromosome per cell is active in women anyway. Unless there are some other mechanisms going on (which there may be), men and women probably have the same dosages of MOA.
  3. However, it's important to keep in mind that the vast majority of traits do not have simple mendelian inheritance, and this will be especially true of complex traits like behaviors. Traits like these will be determined by many different genes all interacting in complex ways, with a healthy dose of environmental influence mixed in.
  4. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that yes, a lot of personality and other behavioral traits have a genetic component, like this twin study: http://www.psych.umn.edu/courses/fall06/yoonh/psy3135/articles/Jang%20et%20al_1996.pdf Understanding how this inheritance works, and what genes are involved, and how environment affects it, is a whole different story, of course.
  5. I think a few people have said something along these lines before, but I have no problem with science informing moral and policy decisions. The more knowledge you have about a problem, the better, I say. The sticking point for me is responsibility. I just don't think that science should be used as a justification or an excuse for moral decisions; whatever we decide to do, we need to take responsibility for that choice, and should that choice end up hurting some people, we need to be willing to accept the blame. People can be capable of strange and terrible things when they feel like they're just "following orders," and I just wouldn't want that sense to come into play when moral decisions are being made.
  6. Pangloss, I protest. In proper lolspeak, the title of this thread should read: "O hai! I can has ur favrit pix nao?"
  7. Paralith

    Sex for Fun

    I agree with what several others have said, being: sex is pleasurable in order to encourage animals to seek out sex and thus successfully reproduce, and because sex is pleasurable some animals began to seek it out even outside of situations where reproduction is actually possible. I would like to add that sexual behavior can actually serve an adaptive function outside of reproduction, and bonobos, as someone else also mentioned, are a good example of that. They have elaborate sexual behavior - all possible combinations of sexes, all the forms of sexual behavior that are practiced by humans. Even infants and juveniles with each other, and adults with infants and juveniles. Each bout only lasts about 5 - 10 seconds, so for them it's more like a handshake or a hug. They use it to cement their social bonds with each other, to reconcile after a fight, to comfort another if they're upset, to form alliances with each other. Being able to do these things has adaptive value - so it's not simply for pleasure and pleasure alone, but the fact that it's pleasurable allows them to use it for adaptive functions outside of reproduction.
  8. The connectivity is referring to the bases on opposite strands. The binding of a's and c's on one strand to t's and g's on the other strand, respectively, keeps the double helix together. So, if one strand has a sequence like this: ATTGCAAGCTACGT then the sequence on the opposite strand will be: TAACGTTCGATGCA Make sense?
  9. Check out the wiki page on kin selection as well. It is in your interest as an organism to pass on your genes, and you can do that by helping others who share the same genes as you - aka, relatives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kin_selection
  10. lol. From what I understand, it's much more of a lower threshold than a higher one. For me, at least, it didn't cover much that I didn't learn in high school, so if you somehow manage to massively bomb the GRE, then you really aren't ready for a post-undergraduate education. Things like your statement of purpose, your grade point in undergrad, and especially your letters of recommendation are really the high thresholds.
  11. You may not have this problem, but my biggest difficulty with the GRE was doing the math quickly. It's all pretty simple stuff, but damn, I hadn't had to do that many computations in that short of a time without a calculator in a long time. I could answer everything correctly but I was just slow. So I got a whole book of math problems (might have even been a GMAT book) and just practiced math questions over and over again until I got faster.
  12. It's genuinely random. That's a simplification but true to the overall result. Check out the wikipedia page on meisos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiosis This is the process by which gametes (eggs and sperm) are made, and how your genes from your dad and your genes from your mom get distributed in various combinations into your gametes. Then of those gametes it's random which one becomes a full egg in females and which of the many sperm created in males manages to get to the egg first.
  13. There is plenty of genetic code that does not directly result in a protein product, but much that is regulatory, and much that is structural, some the remains of old retroviruses, some from transposons, etc etc. For diploid organisms like humans, every organism has two sets of every gene (except for those on sex chromosomes), one set that came from mom and one set that came from dad. When it's time for you to have kids, half of your genes (some from your mom and some from your dad) and half of your mate's genes (some from you're mate's mom and some from your mate's dad) get passed down. But it's random what goes where. There's no active mechanism directing this process.
  14. I agree with Sisyphus, and my boyfriend is one of those who thinks it's right around the corner. Technology develops exponentially, and a lot of things that the average member of the public thinks is sci fi are being worked on today and may be generally available quite soon. He just told me the other day that in a year or two a research group plans to put together an artificial neural network that will be equal in neuron number to a brain 1/10 the size of a human's. Just slamming a bunch of neurons together isn't the same thing as a brain of course, but the technology to replicate the processing power of a brain is fast improving. There are in fact a large body of computer scientists who think singularity, the point where machines/computers are intelligent enough to make better versions of themselves, is only 40 -50 years away. My boyfriend is a software developer and he firmly believes his job will be obsolete in 40 years because computers will program themselves. Then progress will move even faster because artificial intelligences will be much faster and more efficient at designing themselves than humans ever could be.
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