Sunday, December 18, 2005

Apparently the Same Mutation Is Responsible for Clog Dancing 

Somehow we always knew white people were the freaks:
Scientists said yesterday that they have discovered a tiny genetic mutation that largely explains the first appearance of white skin in humans tens of thousands of years ago, a finding that helps solve one of biology's most enduring mysteries and illuminates one of humanity's greatest sources of strife.

The work suggests that the skin-whitening mutation occurred by chance in a single individual after the first human exodus from Africa, when all people were brown-skinned. That person's offspring apparently thrived as humans moved northward into what is now Europe, helping to give rise to the lightest of the world's races . . . .

The work also reveals for the first time that Asians owe their relatively light skin to different mutations. That means that light skin arose independently at least twice in human evolution, in each case affecting populations with the facial and other traits that today are commonly regarded as the hallmarks of Caucasian and Asian races.
More science news from William Saletan of Slate:
The latest rage in cosmetic surgery is virginity restoration. Business is booming in "revirgination," i.e., hymen reattachment. Cost: $2,000 to $5,000. Unmarried immigrant women are getting it to avoid family disgrace by hiding the fact that they've lost their virginity. Married women are getting it (along with vagina-tightening surgery) to thrill husbands on their anniversaries.
We hesitated to post this item because we do have an anniversary coming up and we don't want the Q. of Z. getting overly ambitious. Believe us, we will be more than happy with the usual $75 anal bleaching.

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