… Strangers can “see” a persons trustworthy genes through their behaviors, suggests a new study finding that a single genetic change makes a person seem more compassionate and kind to others.
The gene in question is the “love hormone,” or oxytocin, receptor. A single change in the receptor can result in higher or lower empathy, or how much you can emotionally relate to others. These changes can be detected by strangers from just 20 seconds of soundless video; these strangers could literally see the person’s genes manifesting in their behavior.
Our genes are made of bases, called nucleotides, which come in four types: A, T, C, and G. Researchers have found that switching out a single A to a G on the “love hormone” receptor can have profound effects on behavior. A person with two copies of this A-to-G mutation (one from each parent) report having more empathy.
“Previous research has found that people that are GGs are more empathic, more compassionate,” study researcher Aleksandr Kogan at the University of Toronto told LiveScience. These studies were self-reported by the GGs, so Kogan’s study asked: “Do other people actually find people with a GG more trustworthy?”
… “The people on the video that had the copies of the G genes were treated as more compassionate, trustworthy and kind. There were specific behaviors that the G genes were doing that the A genes were doing less,” Kogan said. “These behaviors were signaling to the complete strangers that this is a trustworthy person. This is speaking to the power of very slight genetic variation and the amazing human ability to pick up on the differences.”The 23 video clips contained 10 GGs, 10 GAs and 3 AA variants. On average, only about 15 percent of Caucasians have two A oxytocin receptor gene variants. Of the 10 most trusted people, as indicated by the 119 study participants, six were GGs and four were GAs, none were AAs. Of the 10 least trusted, nine had at least one A variant and only one was GG ….
Archive for the ‘Love’ Category
Posted by Xeno on November 16, 2011
What are you doing to celebrate the end of the world today? (The Mayan Calendar ends today Oct. 28, 2011, or not)
Posted by Xeno on October 28, 2011
Someone named Calleman fudged the Mayan calendar and came up with today as the date. The idea spread and many people who are more interested in spiritual growth than archaeology now believe it.
“… Calleman’s own made up period which he calls uaxlahunkin (13 x 18 days). This period does not exist in the real Maya calendar and it has been created by Calleman in order to replace two other periods in the Maya Long Count. Otherwise he would have ended up with ten levels and ten Underworlds (and that would not have worked with the prevalence of number nine in the Maya numerology).” - Johan Normark
Any excuse for a good end of the world party! Actually I’m home sick with a horrible sore throat… so my party will consist of mostly sleep. Here is a critique of the source from emergent-culture.com.
Mayan Calendar (2012-MC) studies is dominated by two major scholastic camps—mainstream university professor types (MUPTs) and independent researchers (INREs). This article is a critique and maybe considered an informal kind of peer review. …
Unlike the formal peer reviewed world of the MUPT’s, the INRE’s have no formal review process and therefore anything goes. Not that INRE’s can’t make significant contributions to Maya-Meso-American Calendrics (MMAC), but the lack of a formal peer review system has created a vast ideological quagmire for those following the 2012-MC phenomena. …
For starters there is no Mayan Calendar per se, but rather a Maya calendrical system and calendars map cyclical phenomena and therefore do not “end”. Calendars mark starting and restart points in a cycle. To say that a calendar ends is an oxymoron. The Maya kept track of at least 17 to 20 different calendrical cycles. Calleman is the only researcher to propose a different “end to the Mayan Calendar” and he has no backing for his October 28th, 2011 end date from either the MUPTs or other INRE’s. Not that that fact automatically disqualifies his assessment, but it should be noted. …
Johan Normark Exposes Calleman
The following critiques of Calleman’s work are presented by Johan Normark an archaeologist, traditional Maya scholar and postdoctoral researcher with the Department of Historical Studies at University of Gothenburg. I have included excerpts from his blog with links to the complete articles. My comments are interspersed in brackets.
Calleman: Get the simplest facts correct please
“Just a quick look through it (Callemans latest book) reveals that it is littered with small mistakes (apart from his major distortions of the whole calendar which I shall focus on in other blog posts). One of them can be found on page 43. In the text below the photo of Temple I at Tikal you can read that it is the highest pyramid in the Americas. This is a statement from a person claiming to be an expert on the Maya.
Well, the simple fact is that Temple I is not even the highest pyramid at Tikal. Temple III, IV and V are all higher than this structure. Then we have other Maya sites with pyramids higher than Temple I, such as Calakmul and El Mirador. The Sun pyramid at Teotihuacan is also higher. These facts are basic knowledge to a Mayanist/Mesoamericanist. If he cannot even get these facts straight in topics that he himself is a self-proclaimed expert I wonder how accurate the rest is.[read more]
Carl Johan Calleman… is a toxicologist as well as an author and speaker on the millenarianNew Age interpretation of the Mayan calendar known as Mayanism. He differs from professional Mayanists in seeing 28 October 2011 and not 21 December 2012 as a significant date. Calleman does not interpret the date as an apocalypse, Armageddon, or other cataclysmic event but a slow transformation of consciousness in which people experience a higher “unity consciousness.”
… Calleman’s beliefs differ from other interpreters of the Mayan calendar and the 2012 phenomenon in that he sees the crucial date for change as 28 October 2011–not 21 December 2012–which he posulates will see the culmination of a series of nine waves of increasing frequency which have influenced, and continue to influence, the development and evolution of both the physical universe and human consciousness.
Here are the first things that came to mind for my end of the world party: Burn some money, make love on a beach to the love of my life, eat fresh crab with garlic bread and butter, do a head stand, forgive everyone, forget everything, post a final blog entry, meditate with such intensity that I attain unlimited telepathic powers, read the mind of Dick Cheney to see if I was right about 9/11, then sit and play the guitar.
What are you or would you do to celebrate the end of the world?
Posted by Xeno on October 20, 2011
For one Iowa couple, true love lasted until the very end.
Married 72 years, Norma, 90, and Gordon Yeager, 94, died in the hospital holding hands last week, one hour apart.
The couple was hospitalized after a car accident just outside of Marshalltown, Iowa. They were given a shared room in the ICU where they held hands in adjacent beds.
At 3:38 pm last Wednesday, Gordon’s breathing stopped. Though he was no longer alive, his heart monitor continued to register a beat.
The nurse told Gordon and Norma’s son, Dennis Yeager, that the monitor was beeping “because they’re holding hands, and [Norma's heart beat] is going through them,” Dennis recalled in an interview with Des Moines’ KCCI news station. “Her heart was beating through him.”
Norma died at 4:38 pm, exactly one hour later.
Gordon and Norma’s children say they’re glad the couple passed this way. “They just loved being together,” says Dennis. “He always said, ‘I can’t go until she does because I gotta stay here for her.’ And she would say the same thing.” …
Posted by Xeno on August 11, 2011
I woke up today and realized my intentions for my vacation have been largely selfish. I have focused on pleasure seeking, putting myself in some beautiful place, making love on a beach, eating expensive seafood and sitting in a jacuzzi … the rewards such as I see them, for hard work.
I have worked non-stop for 2 years at my job and have earned the money to do these things, but after searching my heart, I have not lived up to my highest standards.
One of my favorite movies of all time is Groundhog Day, but I have not lived the lesson from it I love:
We find our full potential only when our deepest motivations become altruistic.
Just as Bill Murray wakes up on the same day over and over, trying to get it right, I’ve tried this change of heart many times. I typically, and selfishly, and cynically, however, return to the view that love is a trick, that people donate to charity to get the tax break, that people ultimately give for selfish reasons. Does it “count” if I give a hungry person money for food and my real motivation is to impress someone with my generosity?
I finally get this: Yes, it counts to the hungry person, but I do myself a disservice. I cheat myself of the experience that would be most fulfilling, a pure act of kindness.
Finding the invisible thread, the selfish conversation, and changing it is both easy and difficult. This morning, I solved the equation this way: We live and we die and everything is an illusion. It is our personal responsibility to make the best possible illusion.
Thus, I reached the conclusion that I will not spend my vacation money flying to some island paradise and indulging myself. I will help someone who needs it more than myself, someone who has not asked for my help. This is what I intend.
I do not know how to do what I intend, yet, so I will start simple today, with something I know I can do: Find a local homeless shelter and donate the food from my garden I will never eat.
Our intentions are real. Like our breath, they happen on auto-pilot, but we can also control them.
Posted by Xeno on June 29, 2011
Author: Mack Rawden -
Tea Leoni and David Duchovny have separated for a second time. Their nearly fifteen year marriage famously suffered quite a setback in 2008 when the former X-Files star checked himself into sex rehab, but since he returned, there’s been surprisingly few tabloid headlines or embarrassing public spats. You never know what’s going on behind closed doors though.
According to TMZ, a source close to the couple broke the news but said the pair have not officially thrown in the towel. They’re going to take some time apart and then reevaluate to decide whether to divorce or give it another go. I really hope they give it another go.
There are three types of celebrity couples: the stable ones, the unstable ones and the trainwrecks. Obviously, as an outsider, it’s difficult to tell with one hundred percent certainty who falls where, but from watching people interact and knowing their back stories, you can usually get a rough idea. Duchovny and Leoni are definitely an unstable couple, but they’re still likeable enough together that I’m genuinely saddened by today’s news. …
Good luck to them. Love is stubbly rubble road with potholes and the sudden toad.
Posted by Xeno on June 16, 2011
He was clearly born with a significant amount of sporting prowess but was Tiger Woods also born to be unfaithful to his wife?
The inclination towards infidelity could be in your genes, a study suggests.
Researchers examining female zebra finches believe they cheat on their mates due to variations in DNA handed down by male ancestors.
Genetic analysis revealed promiscuous males tend to sire promiscuous daughters – and this explanation for ‘playing away’ may also apply to humans, believe scientists.
The shamed golfer Tiger Woods is believed never to have forgiven his father Earl for cheating on his mother and last year anthropologists identified a gene mutation linked to the feel-good brain chemical dopamine that is liable to make people more likely to sleep around. …
Posted by Xeno on June 15, 2011
The wedding of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner to his 25-year-old girlfriend has been called off, following her change of heart, Mr Hefner announced.
Mr Hefner was to marry Crystal Harris, who was featured in the magazine as Playmate of the Month in December 2009, on Saturday.
The 85-year-old has been married twice before, in 1949 and 1989.
On her website, Ms Harris wrote that she had taken the decision “after much deep reflection and thought”.
“I have decided to end my engagement with Hef,” she wrote.
“I have the utmost respect for Hef and wish him the best going forward. I hope the media will give each of us the privacy we deserve during this time.”
On his Twitter feed, Mr Hefner wrote: “The wedding is off. Crystal has had a change of heart.”
The pair were to be wed this Saturday, 18 June, with a video of the ceremony to be broadcast next month. …
Bummer. It sucks when love doesn’t work out. I’m losing a good friend soon, so I see sadness all around me… but as long as a heart unstill still beats, hope will stay when love retreats.
Posted by Xeno on May 28, 2011
A note to single dudes: If you’re looking to pick up a woman at a bar, whatever you do — don’t smile at her.
Women are actually less sexually attracted to smiley, happy men, suggests a new University of British Columbia study, published online today in the journal Emotion. If that’s surprising to you — it was surprising to lead researcher Jessica Tracy, too. “I wouldn’t have believed it if we didn’t go out and replicate it three times,” says Tracy, an assistant psychology professor at UBC.
Researchers asked more than 1,000 volunteers to rate the sexual attractiveness of hundreds of images of the opposite sex. (All were heterosexual, ages 17 to 49 years, with a median age of 21. Fifty-two percent of participants were Asian, and 48 percent were Caucasian.) In the images, the men and women pictured were demonstrating one of three emotions: happiness, pride or shame — plus a “neutral” image thrown in there, too.
They found that women ranked the smiling guys as less attractive — but they were into the prideful and ashamed men. But the male participants were most attracted to the smiling women, and least attracted to the ones who seemed proud. …
But the fact that women find shame more attractive may also help explain the attractiveness of the “bad boy” — the one who seems like he can be turned around. “The bad boy who feels shame, women have always found that attractive — that’s the James Dean look. He’s the bad boy, but he wants to change,” Tracy says.
One thing to keep in mind: The study measured just sexual attractiveness, not whether women are interested in carrying on a relationship with a sullen, unsmiling dude. But Tracy adds, “If a (man’s) sole aim is to be as sexually attractive as possible, smiling may not be his best bet.”
Woah. I might not even need the braces.
Posted by Xeno on May 8, 2011
One of the early calls to celebrate a Mother’s Day in the United States was the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” by Julia Ward Howe. Written in 1870, it was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe’s feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.
In the years after the Mother’s Day Proclamation, Ann Jarvis founded five Mothers’ Day Work Clubs to improve sanitary and health conditions. In 1907, two years after Ann Jarvis’ death, her daughter Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother and began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the US. Although she was successful in 1914, she was already disappointed with its commericalization by the 1920s. …
Thinking about our first mother:
To say that we get exactly half of our DNA from our father and half from our mother is not quite true.
One tiny piece of our DNA is inherited only down the female line. It is called mitochondrial DNA because it is held as a unique circular strand in small tubular packets known as mitochondria that function rather like batteries within the cell cytoplasm. Some molecular biologists say that, aeons ago, the mitochondrion was a free-living organism with its own DNA, and possessed the secret of generating lots of energy. It invaded single celled nucleated organisms and has stayed on ever since, dividing, like yeast, by binary fission. Males, although they receive and use their mother’s mitochondrial DNA, cannot pass it on to their children. The sperm has its own mitochondria to power the long journey from the vagina to the ovum but, on entry into the ovum, the male mitochondria wither and die. It is as if the man had to leave his guns at the door.
So each of us inherits our mtDNA from our own mother, who inherited her mtDNA intact from her mother, and so on back through the generations – hence mtDNA’s popular name, ‘the Eve gene’. Ultimately, every person alive today has inherited their mitochondrial DNA from one single great-great-great-. . .-grandmother, nearly 200,000 years ago. This mtDNA provides us with a rare point of stability among the shifting sands of DNA inheritance…
When mtDNA is inherited from our mother, occasionally there is a change or mutation in one or more of the ‘letters’ of the mtDNA code – about one mutation every thousand generations. The new letter, called a point mutation, will then be transmitted through all subsequent daughters. Although a new mutation is a rare event within a single family line, the overall probability of mutations is clearly increased by the number of mothers having daughters. So, within one generation, a million mothers could have more than a thousand daughters with a new mutation, each different from the rest. This is why, unless we share a recent maternal ancestor over the past 10,000 years or so, we each have a slightly different code from everyone else around us. …
Over a period of nearly 200,000 years, a number of tiny random mutations have thus steadily accumulated on different human mtDNA molecules being passed down to daughters of Eve all around the world. For each of us this represents between seven and fifteen mutations on our own personal Eve record. Mutations are thus a cumulative dossier of our own maternal prehistory. The main task of DNA is to copy itself to each new generation. We can use these mutations to reconstruct a genetic tree of mtDNA, because each new mtDNA mutation in a prospective mother’s ovum will be transferred in perpetuity to all her descendants down the female line. Each new female line is thus defined by the old mutations as well as the new ones. As a result, by knowing all the different combinations of mutations in living females around the world, we can logically reconstruct a family tree right back to our first mother. …
Not only can we retrace the tree, but by taking into account where the sampled people came from, we can see where certain mutations occurred – for example, whether in Europe, or Asia, or Africa. What’s more, because the changes happen at a statistically consistent (though random) rate, we can approximate the time when they happened. This has made it possible, during the late 1990s and in the new century, for us to do something that anthropologists of the past could only have dreamt of: we can now trace the migrations of modern humans around our planet. It turns out that the oldest changes in our mtDNA took place in Africa 150,000 – 190,000 years ago. Then new mutations start to appear in Asia, about 60,000 – 80,000 years ago. This tells us that modern humans evolved in Africa, and that some of us migrated out of Africa into Asia after 80,000 years ago.
A religious web site claims that mtDNA is actually not strictly inherited maternally after all.
Mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is thought to be strictly maternally inherited…. Very small amounts of paternally inherited mtDNA have been detected by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in mice after several generations of interspecific backcrosses…. We report the case of a 28-year-old man with mitochondrial myopathy due to a novel 2-bp mtDNA deletion…. We determined that the mtDNA harboring the mutation was paternal in origin and accounted for 90 percent of the patient’s muscle mtDNA (Schwartz and Vissing, 2002, 347:576, emphasis added).
Does this invalidate the mitochondrial Eve? No, there is still a mitochondrial Eve since there are no fertile men or women have ever been found with paternal mtDNA transmission.
In human mitochondrial genetics, there is debate over whether or not paternal mtDNA transmission is possible. Many studies hold that paternal mtDNA is never transmitted to offspring. This belief is central to mtDNA genealogical DNA testing and to the theory of mitochondrial Eve. The fact that mitochondrial DNA is maternally inherited enables researchers to trace maternal lineage far back in time. (Y chromosomal DNA, paternally inherited, is used in an analogous way to trace the agnate lineage.)
Some sources state that so little paternal mtDNA is transmitted as to be negligible (“At most, one presumes it must be less than 1 in 1000, since there are 100 000 mitochondria in the human egg and only 100 in the sperm (Satoh and Kuroiwa, 1991).”) or that paternal mtDNA is so rarely transmitted as to be negligible (“Nevertheless, studies have established that paternal mtDNA is so rarely transmitted to offspring that mtDNA analyses remain valid…”). One study stated that about 1–2% of a person’s mitochondria can be inherited from the father.
The controversy about human paternal leakage was summed up in the 1996 study Misconceptions about mitochondria and mammalian fertilization: Implications for theories on human evolution. The following quotation comes from the abstract to that peer-reviewed study printed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:
“ In vertebrates, inheritance of mitochondria is thought to be predominantly maternal, and mitochondrial DNA analysis has become a standard taxonomic tool. In accordance with the prevailing view of strict maternal inheritance, many sources assert that during fertilization, the sperm tail, with its mitochondria, gets excluded from the embryo. This is incorrect. In the majority of mammals — including humans — the midpiece mitochondria can be identified in the embryo even though their ultimate fate is unknown. The “missing mitochondria” story seems to have survived — and proliferated — unchallenged in a time of contention between hypotheses of human origins, because it supports the “African Eve” model of recent radiation of Homo sapiens out of Africa. ”
The mixing of maternal and paternal mtDNA was thought to have been found in humans and chimpanzees in 1999. However, there has been only a single documented case of human paternal mitochondrial DNA transmission, and it was linked to infertility.
Posted by Xeno on April 29, 2011
T-Mobile’s Royal Wedding Dance celebrates the marriage of William and Kate with the help of a host of royal look alikes and music from East 17! T-Mobile wishes William and Kate a long and happy marriage.