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By Sokka shot first in "Every film about war ends up being pro-war" on MeFi

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As far as I'm concerned, the last word on this subject was written in a comment on Metafilter almost exactly ten years ago.
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skorgu
1 day ago
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By They sucked his brains out! in "It admits its results are "statistical estimates"" on MeFi

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It might be useful to look at how 23andme works, to see how this analysis product is generated, in general.

The 23andMe genotyping platform detects single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A SNP is a DNA location, or "marker," in the genome that has been shown to vary among people in terms of the DNA base or bases. There are four DNA bases: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). So, for example, at the same genomic location, you might have a C and someone else might have a T. These DNA base differences are known as "variants."


These SNPs can differ by population types. Some subsets of a population type might suffer a disease and appear to have SNPs that others do not. So-called GWAS studies (discussed below) work at associating SNP distributions with diseases or other phenotypic traits.

You send some spit to 23andme, they tell you who you are likely related to and what diseases or other physical attributes you may have, based on patterns of these SNPs.

23andme uses Illumina chips for figuring out what genotypic variants you have in the spit sample you send to them. Illumina is a company that manufactures "chips" that react to the presence or absence of markers in the DNA sample you send to 23andme. Each chip in this platform calls different sets of markers.

These markers often have identifiers associated with them, each called an rsID.

The rsID number is a unique label ("rs" followed by a number) used by researchers and databases to identify a specific SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism). It stands for Reference SNP cluster ID and is the naming convention used for most SNPs.


They also map variants that do not use rsIDs, and instead use some other internal identifier.

Whatever the identifier, GWAS — Genome-Wide Association Studies — are research projects that analyze populations of people in different ethnicities or other cohorts, looking for over- or under-presence of various markers, compared with the larger human population.

For instance, here is such a GWAS study that is used by 23andme to indicate risk factors for Parkinson's disease, in sample donors who have these variants. There are other such studies for schizophrenia, for autoimmune diseases, and so on.

The power of these studies to make a positive, correct association depends on various factors, but the product 23andme sells is ultimately a packaged summary of a lot of work by researchers around the world.

Getting to the substance of the post, these same markers — SNPs — are used by 23andme to guess at your ancestry. And that's the problem when getting samples from identical twins, because a unique SNP pattern imprints after the fertilized egg splits:

Each twin has a unique SNP pattern and these begin to arise after the blastocyst has split into two. As the twins begin to develop individually, the SNPs are acquired over time and carried into somatic tissue or germ line, giving each twin a very unique genomic footprint – which can be identified through next-generation sequencing.


So this result is not so surprising, if you know the technical details of what product these companies sell. This is an expected outcome, in fact. The real issue is consumer education, to know what you are buying (and, likewise, what you are not buying).
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skorgu
1 day ago
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I think this is (a) true and (b) a big important truth whose understanding reflects a deep ability to take on different perspectives. Washington did some other good things, yes, but ceteris paribus being a slaveowner is *much* worse than being a German soldier in the early 1940s. twitter.com/LucreSnooker/s…

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I think this is (a) true and (b) a big important truth whose understanding reflects a deep ability to take on different perspectives. Washington did some other good things, yes, but ceteris paribus being a slaveowner is *much* worse than being a German soldier in the early 1940s. twitter.com/LucreSnooker/s…

@ESYudkowsky most Nazi soldiers would have achieved nothing but their own deaths by disobeying evil orders, while e.g. American slave owners would have harmed only their own personal finances by freeing their slaves, so there’s an odd sense in which Washington was worse than most Nazis




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106 likes, 10 retweets
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fxer
3 days ago
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Think he’s forgetting many states passed laws banning manumission, even if an owner wanted to grant freedom. The states didn’t want too many free blacks around especially post Nat Turner in 1831 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manumission

Though it does seem like splitting hairs who is worse; the guys who wanted to keep a race in perpetual bondage, or the guys who wanted to exterminate a race entirely...
Bend, Oregon
skorgu
3 days ago
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Marker for the Geographic Center of NYC in Queens is Flat Out Wrong

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Geographical Center of NYC Marker in Queens

Embedded in the ground at a traffic median in Woodside, Queens along Queens Boulevard is a compass rose with the words, “The Geographic Center of NYC.” It sits mostly forgotten at the intersection of 58th Street and Queens Boulevard between a Walgreens and Cavalry Cemetery, but the design seems pretty official. The cardinal directions are […]

The post Marker for the Geographic Center of NYC in Queens is Flat Out Wrong appeared first on Untapped New York.

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skorgu
4 days ago
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Lol
fxer
4 days ago
This definitely makes me want to install some random marker in my town and never speak of it again, a time capsule in plain view
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Trying not to do too much media crit stuff these days but this seems like an **obviously** correct take and I agree 100%. twitter.com/PeterHamby/sta…

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Trying not to do too much media crit stuff these days but this seems like an **obviously** correct take and I agree 100%. twitter.com/PeterHamby/sta…

My usual rant: Newspaper ed boards should stop endorsing candidates, and considering abandoning editorials altogether. Too many consumers are low-information headline readers who have a hard time distinguishing between news/opinion/analysis ... (1/2) twitter.com/katiekings/sta…




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329 likes, 39 retweets
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skorgu
8 days ago
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How I Became Part of the Silent Sam Story

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(Or, why you should support your local media.)

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skorgu
9 days ago
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Amazing
acdha
10 days ago
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This is wild. I want to believe it couldn’t happen but…
Washington, DC
HarlandCorbin
8 days ago
Wow, that's... just... wow. 7 minutes for a full "legal" proceeding.
mareino
10 days ago
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Washington, District of Columbia
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