Saturday, February 24, 2018

A genome-wide analysis of more than 5,000 opioid users has revealed a gene variant associated with opioid dependence in European-Americans

The new study builds upon earlier work by Yale researchers who identified a different group of variants associated with increased risk of opioid addiction in African Americans. An increased risk of addiction in European Americans was associated with a variant of the gene RGMA, which is involved in cell death and nerve damage. The variant RGMA allele was found more frequently in subjects of European ancestry who were opioid-dependent. RGMA has also been linked to damage caused by stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease. In 2014, researchers identified several variants in African Americans involved in potassium and calcium signaling in nerve cells that were linked to increased risk of opioid addiction. That genome-wide association study failed to turn up gene variants linked to dependency in European Americans. When study population was expanded, the link to RGMA was found. The study also provided more limited evidence that an RGMA variant increases risk for opioid dependence in African Americans, but the association was much stronger among people of European ancestry.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The most common type of intermarriage in the United States is between a partner who is white and one who is Hispanic of any race – those relationships accounted for 38% of all intermarriages in 2010

White-Asian couples accounted for another 14% of intermarriages, and white-black couples made up 8%. In 2008, 22% of black male newlyweds chose partners of another race, compared to just 9% of black female newlyweds. The gender pattern is the opposite among Asians. While 40% of Asian females married outside their race in 2008, just 20% of Asian male newlyweds did the same. For whites and Hispanics though, there was no gender differences. While 72% of black respondents said that it would be fine with them if a family member chose to marry someone of another racial or ethnic group, 61% of whites and 63% of Hispanics said the same. More specifically though, Americans aren’t comfortable with specific kinds of intermarriage. A survey found that acceptance of out-marriage to whites (81%) was higher than is acceptance of out-marriage to Asians (75%), Hispanics (73%) or blacks (66%). Systematic incarceration of young black men, together with higher death rates contribute to the fact that black women are much less likely to get married than women of any other race or ethnicity in the United States. This, together with higher black unemployment rates means that black individuals make up a relatively small share of all marriages, including intermarriages.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A black Church of England vicar has been caught on video inhaling from a crack pipe and discussing prostitutes

Footage shows the Rev Stennett Kirby, a vicar in East London, snorting cocaine and saying: "I'm a very happy man". The 64-year-old Protestant clergyman was seen sitting on a sofa with a friend, watching porn and talking about escorts. Kirby is the vicar of West Ham Parish Church in Stratford and has held the position since 2007. The video shows him lighting up a pipe and separately snorting powdered cocaine. He was talking about paying for a female escort, saying: "I wish I could. If I had money, I would. I've only got £10 left."

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Indonesia is moving toward outlawing gay sex — and even sex outside marriage — in a jarring change for a country long seen as a bastion of tolerance in the Islamic world

The proposed sexual crackdown in the Southeast Asian archipelago of more than 260 million people — the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation and third-largest democracy — is drawing criticism at home and abroad from human rights organizations and LGBT activists. They warn that penal-code revisions now under consideration in parliament would discriminate against large numbers of people, promote extremist views and reverse democratic gains. LGBT Indonesians are often rejected by their families or the victims of violence within the family. In cases of gay sex, the proposed changes call for prison sentences for acts committed in public, with a minor or when used for commercial or pornographic purposes. Police began using existing pornography laws in 2017 to crack down on gay parties.