Links for August 2015

Colourlex: pigments and paintings
Dietary pesticides (99.99% all natural) (pdf)

The toxicological significance of exposures to synthetic chemicals is examined in the context of exposures to naturally occurring chemicals. We calculate that 99.99% (by weight) of the pesticides in the American diet are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves. Only 52 natural pesticides have been tested in high-dose animal cancer tests, and about half (27) are rodent carcinogens; these 27 are shown to be present in many common foods. We conclude that natural and synthetic chemicals are equally likely to be positive in animal cancer tests. We also conclude that at the low doses of most human exposures the comparative hazards of synthetic pesticide residues are insignificant.

“Racism and Science Fiction” by Samuel R. Delany
Genetics of color, COLOUR AND PATTERN CHARTS
Sarah Hartwell

Info on college costs from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
A genome-wide analysis of putative functional and exonic variation associated with extremely high intelligence. Spain et. al., 2015. Molecular Psychiatry

Although individual differences in intelligence (general cognitive ability) are highly heritable, molecular genetic analyses to date have had limited success in identifying specific loci responsible for its heritability. This study is the first to investigate exome variation in individuals of extremely high intelligence. Under the quantitative genetic model, sampling from the high extreme of the distribution should provide increased power to detect associations. We therefore performed a case–control association analysis with 1409 individuals drawn from the top 0.0003 (IQ >170) of the population distribution of intelligence and 3253 unselected population-based controls. Our analysis focused on putative functional exonic variants assayed on the Illumina HumanExome BeadChip. We did not observe any individual protein-altering variants that are reproducibly associated with extremely high intelligence and within the entire distribution of intelligence. Moreover, no significant associations were found for multiple rare alleles within individual genes. However, analyses using genome-wide similarity between unrelated individuals (genome-wide complex trait analysis) indicate that the genotyped functional protein-altering variation yields a heritability estimate of 17.4% (s.e. 1.7%) based on a liability model. In addition, investigation of nominally significant associations revealed fewer rare alleles associated with extremely high intelligence than would be expected under the null hypothesis. This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that rare functional alleles are more frequently detrimental than beneficial to intelligence.

In the modern Republican Party, making sense is a secondary consideration. Years of relentless propaganda combined with extreme frustration over the disastrous Bush years and two terms of a Kenyan Muslim terrorist president have cast the party’s right wing into a swirling suckhole of paranoia and conspiratorial craziness. There is nothing you can do to go too far, a fact proved, if not exactly understood, by the madman, Trump.


First octopus genome published: California two-spot octopus, Octopus bimaculoides


Pentagon tiling discovery.

pentagon tiling examples


Hugo awards 2015!
Yea, the asshole muckers lost! Nice to see Orphan Black win.

What the alternate Hugo Ballot would likely have been Good source for my TO READ list.


Flying Spaghetti Monster propaganda materials

HTTP error codes in cat gifs

Scientists who found gluten sensitivity evidence have now shown it doesn’t exist. Follow up study by Peter Gibson at Monash University in Australia to his 2011 paper

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