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The Sciences

Friday Fluff - May 6th, 2011

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanMay 7, 2011 12:00 AM


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1) First, a post from the past: 10 questions for Judith Rich Harris. 2) Weird search query of the week (#5 keyword!): "dutch best language" 3) Comment of the week, in response to "One root for rice":

Timely paper! Rice agriculture must have been brought to India by the Austro-Asiatics. But the the EDAR genes that the Austro-Asiatics also brought with them do not seem to have been selected in India unlike in East Asia. The Munda only have 5% East Asian EDAR while having 15 to 30% East Asian ancestry. Why did the East Asian variant lose its selective advantage in India? The reason must be that EDAR selection in East Asia was by sexual selection. Darwin proposed this to be the reason for non-adaptive differences between the races. Sexual selection, especially for cosmetic factors, is mostly a matter of female choice – while men may prefer blondes they will readily settle for brunettes but women hold out for Mr. Right. The Austro-Asiatics spread in India by their men marrying local women. These women did not care one way or the other for the thick straight hair of the Austro-Asiatic men but chose them for their agricultural skills! Thus the East Asian EDAR gene got diluted to a low level.

4) And finally, your weekly fluff fix:


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