Monday, January 30, 2023

Tag: Genetics

“Hidden Valley Road” and Schizophrenia: Do Genes Tell the Story?

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The “genetics of mental disorders” story told in Kolker's "Hidden Valley Road" involves omission and misrepresentation of genetic research.

The Schizophrenia Genetics Illusion—A Century of Failure and Hype

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This is the schizophrenia game. It has been played for over a century, and it’s time to stop.

Left-Wing Behavioral Genetics? A Closer Look at the Genetic Evidence in...

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Behavioral genetic “discoveries” are a mirage, a house of cards that ignores contradictory evidence from countless real-world examples and research findings from other fields, that collapses under serious critical analysis.

Behavioural Geneticist Robert Plomin: “There Are No Disorders, There Are Just...

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It is encouraging to hear leading scientists such as Plomin acknowledge that psychiatric diagnoses are fundamentally arbitrary and that the idea of a “cure” does not make sense with regards to psychological issues.

Kicking Over a Straw Woman

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The Galvin family is the quintessential example of "genetic" schizophrenia. But their history of sexual abuse, violence, and trauma provides a clearer and simpler explanation.

Three Recent Genetics Books and Twin Studies’ Indefensible “Equal Environment Assumption”

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Although Mitchell and Murray cited twin studies as the main source of evidence in support of their claims, these studies are based on a long-controversial assumption which they were unable to defend in their books, or on Twitter.

The Persistent, Misdirected Search for Causes of Trauma-based Suffering

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In the United States and other countries that have a military, there is often a great deal of talk about supporting veterans, but way too often, research aimed at learning what will be helpful is misguided and can even be harmful. The same applies to nonveterans who have been through traumatic experiences. Two new studies exemplify such wrongheaded approaches.

Got a Gene for That? The Latest from the Chronicles of...

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Among the latest examples of profiteering from the gene fad, there is now an app to determine your personal level of gayness, and researchers claim to have finally found real biomarkers to diagnose schizophrenia through a simple hair sample! Make no mistake: this is about the religion of scientism, not about science.

How Biotechologies Preserve the Idea of the Disordered Brain

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Social scientists explore how psychiatry’s use of biotechnology is being used to reinvent and secure the idea of the disordered brain

Is Curing Patients a Sustainable Business Model?

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From CNBC: A recent report by Goldman Sachs analysts questions whether curing patients, as opposed to providing them with chronic therapies, could pose a financial...

Debunking The Latest Gene Study

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The researchers suggest that their finding implies a common genetic cause behind five different “disorders.” This is big news! If true, it validates the biomedical view of mental “illness” and suggests that future medical treatments could “cure” these conditions. However, that grand conclusion is not supported by the data.

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing is Often Wrong

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Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing has an “alarmingly high” 40% false-positive rate.

Large Study Finds Epigenetic Changes Associated with Trauma Explained by Smoking

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A new study suggests that epigenetic changes that have been associated with trauma may actually be due to environmental toxins.

Dr. Jay Joseph: Why Schizophrenia Genetic Research is Running on Empty

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Dr Jay Joseph discusses the evidence that psychiatry puts forward in support of the claim that mental disorders have an important genetic basis and the reasons why psychiatry is still searching after many decades of failed attempts.

Has the Era of Gene Therapy Finally Arrived?

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From Scientific American: The FDA has announced its approval of Kymriah, the first gene therapy in the U.S. However, gene therapy remains far from fulfilling...

Fixing Genes Won’t Fix Us

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From The Boston Globe: Scientists' focus on biology and genetics research downplays the role of socioeconomic factors in causing distress and health problems. "Science is threatening a new era of...

Researchers Question Link Between Genetics and Depression

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A new study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, found no link between genetics and the occurrence of depressive symptoms.

Big New Study Challenges a Genetic Link to Stress, Depression

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From Psych Central: A new meta-analysis found no evidence for a previously reported connection between the serotonin gene, depression, and stress. "For years, scientists have been trying...

Why the Hype Around Medical Genetics is a Public Enemy

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From Aeon: Throughout history, scientists have made inflated promises about medical genetics, vowing that the field will prevent or cure all diseases. These hyperbolic and grandiose...

Personalized Medicine may Treat Rather Than Prevent Diseases

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From The Conversation US: Although personalized medicine, which involves tailoring health care to each person's individual genetic makeup, has helped make progress in the treatment...

Why Upgrading Your Brain Could Make you Less Human

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In this essay for Aeon, Michael Bess presents some of the ways future brain-enhancing technologies could be dehumanizing.  "But if we’re not careful, we ignore the...

Bipolar Diagnosis Linked to Childhood Adversity

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With the ties between traumatic childhood experiences and mental health issues, should we continue to focus on biological approaches?

Psychologists Suggest Mental Health is Based on Environment

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In a new review for Molecular Psychiatry, psychologists Elaine Fox and Chris Beevers examine the connection between mental health genetics and cognitive biases. “'If...

Schizophrenia Twin Research as Reported in The Gene: An Intimate History...

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In his 2016 book The Gene: An Intimate History, cancer physician and researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee chronicled the initial idea of the gene, taking readers through the history of genetics up to the current “post-genome” period by interweaving science, social history, and his own personal narrative. In the process he documented some of the crimes of the eugenics movement and the monstrous atrocities committed by German National Socialism in the name of eugenics and biology, while noting the Nazi’s promotion of twin research. He also criticized aspects of intelligence testing and genetic theories of racial inferiority based on IQ tests. At the same time, Mukherjee supported and promoted many contemporary behavioral genetics positions.

Twin Method Assumptions are Indefensible, but are Useful to the Rich...

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The wealthy, and the institutions they finance and promote, look favorably upon research whose authors claim that economic disparities are rooted in biology, and are not harmful to humanity as a whole. But there are countless obvious real-world examples showing that political policies, social struggles, and public health programs, including those involving the adjustment of income differences, lead to improved health and well-being.