Don’t worry about your general cognitive ability genes. Otherwise, check out this study led by Drs. Joe Trampush and Anil Malhotra from the Feinstein Institute showing that the less frequent and non-ancestral (A) alelle of rs1906252 was associated with higher Spearman’s General Intelligence (g-factor) scores.  This SNP sits 700 kilobases upstream of a putative ubiquitin ligase subunit (FBXL4) connected to severe psychomotor retardation. Loss-of-function in other ubiquitin ligase subunits have also been implicated in mental retardation.


A genetic predisposition to develop a drinking problem when exposed to beer is not, however, that reason.

From: Genetics and Genomics of Alcohol Sensitivity (2014)

However, with the exception of the large effects contributed by variation at ADH1B and ALDH2 in Asian populations (Edenberg 2007; Hurley and Edenberg 2012), there is little consistency across studies. Nevertheless, one gene encoding cadherin 13 (CDH13) was replicated in four independent studies among all SNPs that were significant at a nominal P value (Johnson et al. 2006; Liu et al. 2006b; Treutlein et al. 2009; Lind et al. 2010).

If you’re going to make a clone army, you might want to avoid the CDH13 rs11640875 A alleles. Also keep in mind that there are some 100 different types of cadherin molecules expressed in the brain and they mediate all manner of cell-to-cell contact and signalling processes. Not surprisingly, this class of cell adhesion molecules are widely associated with mental disorders.


It’s summer people. We live in the genome age. Check your rs309375 genotype.

Information and freedom

They say information wants to be free, but maybe it’s more that people want to be free and crave information that helps them acquire freedom. So maybe there is a simple test to apply to any subsequent blog posts here.

Does this post contain information that might help someone on their quest toward personal freedom or self-determination?


The  genetics of economics and economics of genetics are really freaky topics.

On the one hand, we spend most of our lives making economic decisions … how to spend time? money? affection? You know, “He’s cute, but has a lame job” and, “I feel like I’m getting a better deal at Five Guys because they give away the peanuts for free.” Genetic research seems to be “worth it” because variation in genetic data might underpin variation in economic behavior (particularly in the healthcare marketplace).

On the other hand, genetic data seems to have little or no economic face value. I mean, they are practically giving the data away at $100 for your SNP-ome and $1,000 for your full genome.

So it seems that consumers are now part of an experiment where they may freely access their personal genetic information and try to figure out how to use it in some sort of economically advantageous way. Meanwhile scientists can (with consent) meta-analytically track the genotypes of these consumers and discover what genotypes are associated with good economic decisions. It’s freaky. It’s fascinating. It’s big data. Whatever.

The downside to “consumer as guinea pig” is that the free marketplace is full of liars and exploiters, and will soon be awash in every sort of hokey “geno-” this and “geno-” and “g’s” fused with all sorts of words that begin with “en”. I mean, have you ever not been paralyzed in the salad dressing aisle? Do we really need “specially formulated for rs1234567 AA” geno-dressings?

Which is why I really think anyone who describes himself as a genoeconomist and founder of a gentrepreneurship consortium, really needs to take it down a couple of notches. This type of self-branding is what the liars and exploiters do.

Hundreds of millions of people are desperately looking for work. The liars and exploiters have wrecked the global economy for decades to come. People are suffering. The publication of meta-analytic studies that show that self-employment, while somewhat heritable, is a complex polygenic trait (um, no shit) feels to me like an insensitive slap in the face to people who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

Rant over.


American Omic



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