1973-herbert.pdf: “Listening To The Left Hand: The dangerous business of wishing for absolutes in a relativistic universe”, Frank Herbert
“Origins of magic: review of genetic and epigenetic effects”, (2007-12-20):
Objective: To assess the evidence for a genetic basis to magic.
Design: Literature review.
Setting: Harry Potter novels of J. K. Rowling.
Participants: Muggles, witches, wizards, and squibs.
Main outcome measures: Family and twin studies, magical ability, and specific magical skills.
Results: Magic shows strong evidence of heritability, with familial aggregation and concordance in twins. Evidence suggests magical ability to be a quantitative trait. Specific magical skills, notably being able to speak to snakes, predict the future, and change hair colour, all seem heritable.
Conclusions: A multi-locus model with a dominant gene for magic might exist, controlled epistatically by one or more loci, possibly recessive in nature. Magical enhancers regulating gene expression may be involved, combined with mutations at specific genes implicated in speech and hair colour such as FOXP2 and MCR1.
“Harry Potter and the recessive allele”, (2005-08-10):
Wizards or witches can be of any race, and may be the offspring of a wizard and a witch, the offspring of two muggles (‘muggle-born’), or of mixed ancestry (‘half-blood’). This suggests that wizarding ability is inherited in a Mendelian fashion, with the wizard allele (W) being recessive to the muggle allele (M). According to this hypothesis, all wizards and witches therefore have two copies of the wizard allele (WW). Harry’s friends Ron Weasley and Neville Longbottom and his arch-enemy Draco Malfoy are ‘pure-blood’ wizards: WW with WW ancestors for generations back. Harry’s friend Hermione is a powerful muggle-born witch (WW with WM parents). Their classmate Seamus is a half-blood wizard, the son of a witch and a muggle (WW with one WW and one parent). Harry (WW with WW parents) is not considered a pure-blood, as his mother was muggle-born. There may even be examples of incomplete penetrance (Neville has poor wizarding skills) and possible mutations or questionable paternity: Filch, the caretaker, is a ‘squib’, someone born into a wizarding family but with no wizarding powers of their own.
2015-gianola.pdf: “One Hundred Years of Statistical Developments in Animal Breeding”, (2014-11-03; ):
Statistical methodology has played a key role in scientific animal breeding. Approximately one hundred years of statistical developments in animal breeding are reviewed. Some of the scientific foundations of the field are discussed, and many milestones are examined from historical and critical perspectives. The review concludes with a discussion of some future challenges and opportunities arising from the massive amount of data generated by livestock, plant, and human genome projects.
2017-healy.pdf: “Fuck Nuance”, (2017-06-26; ):
Nuance is not a virtue of good sociological theory. Although often demanded and superficially attractive, nuance inhibits the abstraction on which good theory depends. I describe three “nuance traps” common in sociology and show why they should be avoided on grounds of principle, aesthetics, and strategy. The argument is made without prejudice to the substantive heterogeneity of the discipline.
1962-todd.pdf: “Inheritance of the catnip response in domestic cats”, (1962; ):
Four behavioral components of the catnip response are described briefly. The analysis of a pedigree indicates that responding is inherited as an autosomal dominant. Other aspects of inheritance of the response are discussed.
An essential oil, nepetalactone, was isolated from the catnip plant ( ) by McElvain et al. 2, 3, 4 and Meinwald 5. McElvain2 demonstrated with lions that the oil is the substance which is responsible for the attraction of cats to the plant and the only constituent capable of inducing a response. This familiar response has been broken down into four components, viz, 1. sniffing, 2. licking and chewing with head shaking, 3. chin and cheek rubbing and 4. head-over roll and body rubbing. None of these automatisms is unique to , each of them apparently belonging normally to sexual or ingestive behavior1. These components almost invariably appear in the above sequence. In fact, among 58 responding , all tested with dried leaves, only 3 individuals deviated from this sequence and omitted the licking and chewing with head shaking. These animals went immediately into the rolling phase, which seemed to be exceptionally violent. Component four may last from three to six minutes before all response is extinguished. Additional behavior patterns noted occasionally are claw sharpening and washing, both of which occur as displacement activities in the ethological sense in sexual behavior1.
Among responding animals the response may occasionally be inhibited for obscure reasons, necessitating repeated testing of non-responders before drawing conclusions. Also, the response is not manifested in kittens under 6 to 8 weeks of age and may not develop fully until three months of age. In fact,often produces a distinct avoidance response in young kittens which is gradually replaced by indifference in non-responders and by heightened curiosity in responders. Whether nursing is in any way connected with inhibiting the response has not yet been determined. In one case a 6- to 7-week-old nursing kitten gave a total response, but this seems exceptional. A distressed or enraged animal may still respond, and neutering appears to have no effect on behavior towards .
2011-villani.pdf: “Heritability and Characteristics of Catnip Response in Two Domestic Cat Populations”, (2011; ):
The Gibbs sampling methods are used to explore a mixed model for the trait to determine genetic effects. Heritabilities obtained in the two colonies for the most important response behaviors, the head over roll and cheek rub, were 0.511 and 0.794 using spray and dried respectively. No clear Mendelian mode of inheritance was ascertained in either colony. The variation in response behaviors and intensity seen in the two colonies reflects the complex nature of expression of the catnip response, but there is a clear genetic influence on the feline predisposition to responding.response to is unique in nature as it represents a repeatable, recognizable behavioral response to an olfactory stimulus that appears to have little evolutionary importance. There is clear variation in response between and this has been attributed to genetic factors in the past. These factors are explored in this study using behavioral observation after presenting of to in two different research colonies with different environmental and genetic backgrounds. The response trait is defined and