Genetics Essential Reads

Aggression and Fear Can Be Reduced in Specific Dog Breeds

New data provides a possible alternative to breed-specific legislation to control aggression and fearfulness in dogs.

Domestication, It's Complicated

Cats may have been domesticated twice, or more. A new study shows that today’s domestic cats have two sets of maternal ancestors.

The Bachs and the Epigenetics of Music

Many believe epigenetics makes inheritance of acquired traits possible, but the example of imprinted genes on chromosome 15 provides a better explanation of innate musical ability.

Great Performers Are Born AND Made

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on June 07, 2017 in The Power of Prime
Different pursuits have specific neurological, physiological, and musculoskeletal requirements and if you're not born with those, all of the training in the world won't help.

At Last the Government Is Recognizing Who Owns Your Health

By Peter Edelstein M.D. on June 06, 2017 in Patient Power
What's more personal than your own individual genetic identification? A recent FDA decision on genetic tests represents a major shift in who truly owns your health: You.

Epigenetics of Music: A Karaoke vs. Bach Genetic Conflict?

A study of a rare imprinting disorder has wide implications for our appreciation of music—Bach and karaoke included!
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Required Summer Reading

In a landmark study of why human beings believe what they believe and do what they do, Robert Sapolsky demonstrates that brains and cultures evolve; genes don't determine anything.
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A Genetic Revolution: No Two Neurons Alike

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on May 10, 2017 in Memory Medic
You are what you have been made by your genes and environment. But what you choose to think and do can change who you are.

Hundreds of Psychology Studies are Wrong

By neglecting genetic influences on behaviour, numerous psychologists have confounded their own research.

What Is Madness?

By Sheila Kohler on April 17, 2017 in Dreaming for Freud
Madness has also been a useful tool for autocratic governments in countries like Germany during the Nazi period, South Africa under apartheid, or the Soviet Union.

Are Humans Adapted to Modern Environments?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 11, 2017 in The Human Beast
Our two main theories of human behavior do a poor job of explaining how humans change to meet the demands of varied environments – but we do.

76 Reasons to Stay Single

Humans, like other animals, have evolved to spread our genes. Which begs the question: why does anyone stay single?

Do Twins Read Each Other's Minds?

By Nancy L. Segal Ph.D. on March 30, 2017 in Twofold
Some people think twin communicate telepathically, but research shows otherwise.

Could a Blood Test for Cancer Be Dangerous?

Early cancer detection seems right. But it can, in reality, be wrong.

Gender Differences: Equality Versus Similarity

Some feminists deny that true gender differences in behavior exist: they mistake similarity with equality, and neglect an important source of individuality.

Gut Check

While you sit on your tuffet; how does your inner garden grow?

Mindful in the Classroom: New Lessons in Mental Literacy

A new age of neuroscientific literacy is beginning in the classroom.

What Is the Future of Genetic Testing?

Anxious about the onslaught of genetic tests? A new book weeds through the morass.

Genetics Play a Role in Social Anxiety Disorder, Study Finds

A new study has pinpointed a genetic link between social anxiety disorder (SAD) and a serotonin transporter gene called "SLC6A4."

Check Yourself (Again): More Mental Health Blunders

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on March 10, 2017 in Insight Therapy
A previous post listed several mental health errors that may hinder psychological well-being. But wait, there’s more…
Charles Darwin/Public Domain

Why Does Autism Still Exist?

By Barb Cohen on March 07, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
Some gene variants associated with autism are also significantly associated with high intelligence. “Smart” genes are advantageous from an evolutionary standpoint, so they persist.

Telomere Length and Depression

By Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc on February 05, 2017 in Inner Source
What can old shoelaces teach us about genetics and staving off depression?

Boys Will Be Boys—Even If Raised Believed to Be Girls

Boys born seeming to be girls and socialised as such revert to male after puberty in ~90% of cases, providing an acid test of nature versus nurture.

From Stress to Genes, Baboons to Hormones

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 04, 2017 in How To Do Life
An Interview with Robert Sapolsky

Procuring The Unconventional

Why you need to source your food like a chef; not just for flavor but for health

Do Extraverts Have More Children?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on January 24, 2017 in The Human Beast
Extraverts are more vulnerable to boredom. In the evolutionary past, they likely relieved the boredom by having affairs. Did this improve their reproductive success?

Is Humanity's "Moral Sense" Inherited or Nurtured?

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on January 22, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
Humans inherit many things from their ancestors beyond genes. Darwin argued with evidence that humanity's "moral sense" is part of their nature, not against it. Where did it go?

Why Do Large Dogs Have Shorter Life Spans Than Small Dogs?

Bigger is not better when it comes to the size of dogs. Recent data help explain why larger dogs age more quickly.

Opposite Genetic Profiles of Autism vs. Schizophrenia

Although both autism and schizophrenia feature symptomatic communication difficulties, genetic profiling reveals them to be opposites as proposed by the diametric model.

Imprinted Genes and Infant Temperament: First Findings

The first study to compare expression of imprinted genes with measures of infant temperament yields encouraging results for the imprinted brain theory.