Economics and Genetics Meet in Uneasy Union

This article addresses the controversy surrounding an 107-page paper by Oded Galor of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and Quamrul Ashraf of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts that is scheduled to appear soon in American Economic Review. The paper argues that there are strong links between estimates of genetic diversity for 145 countries and per-capita incomes, even after accounting…

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Time to Cooperate: Studying The Effects Of Environmental Stress On How People Behave

Until now, analysis of the environment has been the domain of social scientists, who have elaborated the correlations between environment and health or behaviour — for example, that a deprived upbringing increases the risk of deviant behaviours in adulthood. Now, biologists are starting to render visible how one aspect of the environment — stress — leaves marks on the body…

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Three-Parent Babies

A new IVF technique being debated in England uses three genetic parents to create an embryo. This procedure helps avoid possible mitochondrial disease, but some caution that it’s too soon to take such a radical new approach.  Rueters has the story , HuffPost Live has a video      

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Gender Testing for Athletes Remains a Tough Call

ISG Director Dr. Eric Vilain writes an article for the NYTimes addressing gender testing for athletes.  He writes, “When men are more talented than others, it is an expression of the beauty of sports. But when women outcompete others, suspicions about eligibility and arguments for a level playing field often arise.  Sports officials are faced with an impossible quandary: a…

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Appeals Court Lifts Stem Cell Research Ban

In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the U.S. court of appeals in Washington overturned a judge’s order that would have blocked federal financing of stem cell research. The judges ruled that opponents are not likely to succeed in their lawsuit to stop the government funding.  The panel reversed an opinion issued last August by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth,…

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