Not quite right

Most scientists believe that genes play a role in how people respond to infections.

All scientists believe that.

Those people who don’t aren’t doing science.

The interesting question is – as so often with human reactions to anything at all – “How Much?”.

8 thoughts on “Not quite right”

  1. @john77

    ” So are we surprised that different racial groups have different susceptibilities?”

    This is all rather frightening for Graun readers who are usually keen to deny any differences between human populations that could be down to genes – despite the fact that modern humans left Africa somewhere between 80k and 120k years ago and also interbred with Neanderthals and Denisovans.

    I’m confident that within a week they’ll be back to blaming it all on ‘oppression’.

  2. All scientists believe that genes matter. Not all scientists are willing to state as much publicly, for fear of being (James) Watsoned.

  3. What the scientists or anybody else believe is irrelevant. Reality exists whether people beleive in it or not.

  4. “The interesting question is – as so often with human reactions to anything at all – “How Much?”.”

    The short answer is: Everything and Nothing… 😛
    And honestly, the full answer is complicated enough to be far beyond the level of understanding of your average Graun reader.

    It’s a classic Nature v/s Nurture thing.. Our body’s defenses * are grounded in genes **, but trained against the environment. Which locally has its “unique” pathogens for which there can be reason to select for specific defenses if people and the pathogen hang out long enough. ( couple of centuries with our generation time..)
    There are differences regarding major groups of pathogens ( real Africans and indian americans are slightly better at dealing with bacteria and parasytes, Caucasians and northern Asians slightly better at dealing with viruses, etc.) , but those are gross averages that mean nothing when translated to individuals or even larger conglomerations.
    After all, the system is supposed to be flexible, so the variance is HUGE to the point where averages are …nice.. but not really significant in any way.

    * Which are , depending on classification, between 5 and 12 interconnected and partially co-dependent systems trying to deal with 5 major types of “invasion”. Some of those systems are dual or even triple-duty. And some are Janus-faced.

    ** Of which there are some 100’s involved ( that we know/suspect..) , some of which are so conserved we can compare them with sponges, others have bits that are highly mutable on a conservative base, others work like a LEGO set: the gene gives the parts, assembly happens on the fly, and not always according to the leaflet… ( and the unused bits often function as signals for other bits/genes/proteïns… And….)
    And each and every gene is subject to post-editing at the mRNA level, and the product to post-editing at the protein level, and….

    Molecular biology is hard, m’kay. To the point where the same gene may not give the same result in different circumstances.
    And our immune system uses every. single. dirty. trick. possible with the “assembly line” and turned it into an art form where the same gene can and will give different results. Or not. Or even better, variations of the same gene the same near-exact result depending on what’s needed.

  5. @Jonathan

    “I’m confident that within a week they’ll be back to blaming it all on ‘oppression’.”

    They didn’t stop, every non-white CV death is due to oppression, poverty blah blah

    Toby Young on GMB about Professor Neil Ferguson resigning

    Predictably shouted down by Leftist rest suffering from CoranaPhobia and defending Ferguson’s policies and excusing behaviour


    Tucker: Policymakers just can’t stop breaking coronavirus rules

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