We’ve come a long way since the days of Gregor Mendel and his peas. The entire human genome has been sequenced. Many traits like blue eyes and a talent for music and, unfortunately some diseases of the mind and body included, are inheritable. Genes have not been found to be destiny, but they are like a slightly blurred map. Different routes might be taken, but major destinations are unchangeable. Except when they’re not. Or we’re one place on the map and suddenly we’re on another, like the opening to a sci-fi fantasy, we’re not sure how we got there. Enter genetic dark matter, The Genome’s Dark Matter
Consider the results of an experiment Nadeau and his colleague Vicki R. Nelson published last August. They created an inbred strain of mice and then compared two sets of females that were genetically identical except for one small difference: one set had a father whose Y chromosome came from another strain of mouse and contained a different set of genetic variants. That shouldn’t have affected the daughter mice at all, because females don’t inherit the Y chromosome. But the presence of that uninherited DNA in the previous generation exerted a profound effect on many of the more than 100 traits tested in the two sets of female offspring, whose own DNA was exactly the same. These results, Nelson and Nadeau concluded, suggest that “transgenerational genetic effects rival conventional genetics in frequency and strength.”
In a separate but similarly unsettling line of experiments, Nadeau and his collaborators are finding that the impact of any given gene depends on all the other genes surrounding it.
This influence by groups of genes may explain why your home genetic tests says you have a high probability for a certain type of cancer but never get it. The reverse can also be true. You show very little tendency for inheritable diabetes, but suddenly you have adult on-set diabetes. Suddenly the combinations required for certain traits becomes expand exponentially over the conventional phenotype model.
Expensive suit, black limousine, on TV, talks with authority, speaks of leadership and projects an air of authority and knowledge. Those are the lights on in the conservative house of politics, but it does not mean anyone is home – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Begs Illinoisans To ‘Escape To Wisconsin’ Where Taxes Are Actually Higher
Wisconsin’s new Republican Governor Scott Walker has rushed to make hay out of the Illinois Assembly’s decision to raise individual and corporate tax rates, urging Illinois residents and businesses to move to Wisconsin. But, ironically, Illinois residents who move to Wisconsin should bank on paying higher taxes.
Conservatives like Walker have insisted on using the figure that Illinois is increasing taxes by a whopping 66 percent. While this is factually accurate, it’s misleading as it makes the tax increase seem much bigger than it actually is. Illinois tax rates will only go from 3 to 5 percent (hence 66 percent increase), representing a total increase in tax rates of just 2 percent.
When they are not complaining about how public employees are bankrupting the states, Republicans have decided to make the mythical miracles of some Republican governors like Walker the shining example of how states and thus the federal government should be managed. Walker is intent on turning Wisconsin into Pottersville. If living in Pottersville sounds like a great idea – mansions on the hill and most everyone else in modern suburban slums – sounds good, by all means move to the Wisconsin that Walker envisions. It will be a lot like a real life example – the red state and very broke state of Arizona – Tea party in the Sonora: For the future of G.O.P. governance, look to Arizona. Very long and well researched piece so I’ll just post some highlights,
* Collectively they have bankrupted the state through a combination of ideological fanaticism on the Republican right and acquiescence and timidity on the part of G.O.P. moderates and Democrats. Although dozens of states are facing budget crises, the situation in Arizona is arguably the nation’s worst, graver even than in California. A horrific budget deficit has been papered over with massive borrowing and accounting gimmickry, and the state may yet have to issue IOUs to employees and vendors.
* Instead, to raise cash, the legislature has pursued a series of wild sell-offs and budget cuts. It privatized the capitol building and leased it back from its new owner, an arrangement that brought in substantial revenue but over time will cost Arizona far more. The legislature has sold off numerous other state properties at bargain prices, and has put up future lottery revenues as collateral on a $450 million loan. Meanwhile, Arizona removed more than 300,000 adults from state health coverage and terminated one health-care program for 47,000 poor children. Funding was slashed at the agency that deals with reports of child abuse and neglect, and also at Children’s Rehabilitative Services, so that parents of children with cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, and a number of other conditions are now required to pay 100 percent of treatment costs.
* Although tax cuts “have lowered government revenues,” they “have not had any perceptible effect on the state’s economic growth,” concluded an Arizona State University business-school study, published last November, that examined the past three decades of fiscal policy.
* Real estate prices rose wildly in Arizona during the past decade, pushed, as elsewhere in the country, by low interest rates, ARMs, and the reckless practices of such companies as Countrywide Financial and Goldman Sachs. When the market went bust, Arizona—along with Florida, Nevada, and California—crashed particularly hard. Last spring, Phoenix became the first major American city where home prices had fallen by half from their mid-decade market peak. Recent figures show that 61.5 percent of Phoenix mortgages are “underwater,” with commercial real estate in even worse shape.
* Then there was Sylvia Allen, a real estate broker from the town of Snowflake, who, in 2008, was appointed by the local Republican Party to finish the term of a respected conservative who had died in office. Allen, who retained her seat in an election that fall, has since gained minor notoriety after calling for more uranium mining, saying in a speech that “this earth has been here 6,000 years, long before anybody had environmental laws, and somehow it hasn’t been done away with.” She also has complained that trees are “stealing Arizona’s water supply” and sponsored a new law that allows carriers of concealed weapons to forego safety training and the indignity of background checks.
Arizona might be that conservative/libertarian dream state come true. There is a minuscule amount of money spent on basic infrastructure – recent improvements to the state capital building, approved by the libertarian conservatives, done by a private contractor with the lowest bid – resulted in a ratty building with plumbing and electrical problems. They have cut education spending, especially for the state universities – which were compiling a pretty decent record of achievement in the sciences and alternative energy related technology. If the libertarian tea stains want to use Arizona as a poster child for the nation on how things should be done, they’ll need a lot of lipstick for that pig.
And nothing personal against Arizona which has some of the nation’s nicest people and greatest parks. Nice people often live along side knuckleheads.
suburban winter blues. cross processing is my current obsession.
On paper, it sounds like one of the worst ideas for a photo project: Portraits of bloggers? At their computers? But Gabriela Herman’s photos of exactly that are surprisingly thoughtful, deep and compelling. They bring out the hidden drama in an extremely passive-looking activity.
Who knew that bloggers were so attractive. Herman’s site is worth a visit for photography enthusiasts.
If they get their way, history books won’t say anything about “intruding on the Indians or having slaves”
Gosh what does that remind you of. Remember Noam Chomsky recently noted that the business elites( which would include the tea toadies) are instinctively Marxist. The evidence continues to pile up on the cultural front as Tennessee shows. Russian textbooks attempt to rewrite history
Now you see him, now you don’t. Stalin was a past master at the art of airbrushing. In one classic set of photographs, there Stalin is with his secret police chief, Nikolai Yezhov — and in the next photo, there Yezhov isn’t (he was executed in 1940, with his boss’s approval). And now, in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the airbrushing of history seems to be all the rage again.