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Everything posted by Paralith

  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. 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.
  15. Many of these laws are very old, and if they're still on the books it's because no one has actually tried to enact them in recent years, and most have forgotten that they're there. If I remember right, some places also have laws about where in the street you can legally put livestock. These are laws from an older time and are more relics than they are actual laws, but they speak to this country's history. There was a time when farmers would regularly be bringing livestock in to town and could clog up the streets. There was a time when the religion of the majority of the citizens dictated many of the laws that were put on the books.
  16. I don't mean to offend, but is there any reason you're dating him besides the fact that you've heard scientists are good boyfriends? I mean, I assume not, but if that's all you're basing a relationship on that's a problem in itself. I myself am a female scientist, and I've never much enjoyed my non-nerdy boy dating experiences because we never share enough interests to make the relationship fun. (My brief excursion into frat boys made me want to die of boredom.) But having spenttime as a datable girl amongst nerds I also know that nerdy boys are like any other group of boys in that they can all be very different - you can most certainly get the nerd/science version of the egotistical hot shot and the more stereotypical extreme of the computer nerd in his mother's basement playing WoW every minute he's not at work. My significant other of nearly five years is a software developer, is confident, social, likes going out and trying new things, and at the same time is just as happy with a night in cooking dinner and watching a movie. We can't tell you how things will go with your chemist because we don't know him.
  17. My mother makes pretty good money doing what she does, but I've grown up knowing how stressed out her job and makes her and how much she generally hates it. That's a large part of the reason why I said to myself one day, "I'm going to be working for the majority of my life. At the very least I want it to be work I can enjoy." And off into the sciences I went!
  18. Remember that I'm speaking in relative terms - I'm not suggesting every human needs to eat a 10 lb steak at every meal But one or two reasonable portions of meat a day is much more than any chimpanzee gets. Remember also that the meat we evolved to eat is the leaner meat of wild animals; the domesticated meat we eat today is chock-full of fat. Like I said before, any vegetarian will tell you that you can get all the protein you need from plant foods and that's true. It's just far easier to get your dose with meat.
  19. Of course they would. They would eat hamburgers just like we do if they could. They love meat and everybody begs for a piece after a hunt. But the question is what is a healthy diet. Like us chimpanzees crave what foods are rare but important so that they take advantage of the chance to eat it whenever they can. That's why we love fatty foods so much. But clearly our over-indulgence in what we crave hasn't done us so well health-wise. And yes, it is not very uncommon at all for a feast to go on after infanticide has been committed. A baby chimp is probably just as tasty as a Colobus monkey.
  20. That's a good question, and any vegetarian would probably give you an emphatic YES! I would say, not exactly like a chimp's diet. We don't have to eat animal meat but we do need high levels of protein in our diet compared to other primates, whether it comes from an animal or a plant. Of the primates, none, really. No other primate eats as much animal meat as humans do, most certainly, and I'm fairly sure few eat as many proteins as we do in general. Don't quote me on that, though. We are definitely apes, but we're really weird apes. Some researchers think our diet shift is the key to most of the extreme traits that make us different from other apes, so if you asked any of them if we would do well on a chimp's diet they'd probably say no.
  21. The human diet has diverged significantly from what monkeys and even the other great apes eat - compared to chimps, for example, we eat a lot of the same things, but in much different proportions. Chimps eat mostly fruits and leaves with about 2 - 5% of their diet being meat and/or insects. Humans eat huge amounts of meat relatively speaking, as well as other proteins like nuts and roots. Fruits and greens too of course, but it's not the majority complement. Besides, depending on what type of monkey that monkey chow was meant for, it could have been designed for a folivore. And we're definitely not folivores.
  22. Paralith


    They are molecules that are either fat-soluble or water-soluble.
  23. At one point you have to open the plates, if only to plate the bacteria. And if you want to add other things to them you have to open them again. In my old lab any time we opened a plate it was done directly under a lit bunsen burner (in a recently cleaned sterile area, of course). I felt plexiglass would be a little safer in a home environment.
  24. If I actually got this as an assignment I would ask the teacher about it because based on what I know I need more information before I can actually answer it. And I've already stated what info I would need and what the answer would be depending on that info.
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