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Genetic influences on musical specialization: a twin study on the choice of instrument and music genre

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4th Oct 2019

Genetic influences on musical specialization: a twin study on the choice of instrument and music genre

Human music is indeed an assorted phenomenon that shows different music characteristics differing in numerous parameters such as instruments used; scales; melodic, harmonic as well as rhythmic conventions. Mosing and Ullen´ have conducted a twin study to understand the link between choices of the instrument, music categories and their inheritance. Many researchers have already shown the effect of genetic factors on an individual's musical commitment, capacity, and accomplishment. For instance, different studies established a link between music-related traits and significant genetic influences on these traits. However, no research had investigated the heritability of choice of instruments.

Mosing and Ullen had tried to fill this research gap and conducted a large twin cohort study. Nearly 10, 000 Swedish twins were part of this research which provided their responses for the extensive questionnaire. The data was gathered in the 2012 and 2013 web survey and was approved by the Regional Ethics Review Board in Stockholm. On the whole, there were, 11,543 twins participated in a survey of ages between 27 and 54 . Then to avoid potential confounding as a result of sex differences, opposite-sex twin pairs (Npairs = 370) were excluded from the research.

Questions were mostly related to musical traits, instruments, and genre that these twins had played and participant's informed consent was taken. In that open questionnaire, people were asked to tell about their instrument choice without any hesitation. However, they were restricted to the choice of instrument to choose only one. The results showed the use of 45 different instruments that were being used for the song, choir, and whistling. Based on these results, researchers classified the instruments into different categories such as bowed and plucked, voice keyboard, woodwind, brass as well as percussion. Moreover, there were also questions about music genres and participants were asked to choose different options; classical Western art music, modern Western art music, jazz music, and pop/rock. They had to give their responses for different periods in their lives; 0–5 years, 6–11 years, 12–17 years, and 18 years old until presence . This research found three variables for music genre; art music genre, Jazz genre, and modern genre. Art music genre category has those people who once in their life had played any of the two types of Western art music. On the other hand, the Jazz genre were people who in their lives had played Jazz music. Lastly, the modern genre was those individuals who had gone for pop/rock or folk music.

Furthermore, within this research, twins were also interrogated for their main inspiration related to the choice of instrument. Hence, twins came with different responses such as myself, parent, friend, and teacher. Results showed 1259 identical gender twins playing the same instrument or singing. Overall, the odds ratios showed expressively higher ratios for identical twins showing the same kind of music-related behaviors. N=348 twins selected the main instrument themselves while others retorted for another persona such as their parent. Thus, the results showed the momentous genetic effects in music specialization. All these responses were then statistically analyzed using logistic or linear regression with zygosity type (MZ/DZ) as the independent variable. The dependent variables were numerous instrument categories and genres as well as sex and age.

The present study is successfully covering the research gap and investigating the heritability of choice of instruments. The data used in this research is web-based self-report, and there are chances of biasness. Conversely, this would not have a large effect on the main variables, and these findings can be used for the analysis of imaging studies of the neural associates of musical specialty. Moreover, the use of co-twin control design is allowing further judgment of effects on regional neuroanatomical as a result of proper music training. In this way, genetic factors on music and their effects can be controlled. In addition, the research has reasonably used two mechanisms for the research; environment correlation and psychological modality. Environment correlation tends to suggest the active role of the environment on the music traits of twins. Similarly, the psychological modality has taken into account the personality which intervenes with these associations.

On the one hand, this research is an effective addition in studying the association of genes and music traits. However, there can be seen the violation of the equal environment assumption (EEA) while conducting this study. MZ twins are supposed to contribute all their genes, while DZ twins, on the other hand, can be seen segregating nearly 50% of their genes. Thus, it is subjective to assume the same environments for both groups . Due to the use of a higher concordance rate in MZ twins, the possibility of an effect of environmental factors and others can be ignored. The study was specifically checking the presence of higher MZ than DZ concordance for instrument choice. Researchers have effectively reiterated twin pairs individually, one for twins who had made a section of instrument themselves, and for twin pairs who were under the influence of someone else regarding the choice. The results clearly showed the higher value of the concordant of MZ twins in comparison with the concordant value of DZ twins for instrument choice as well as instrument type.

Therefore, we can ascertain genetic effects concerning instrument and genre choice on account of variances in personality, cognitive aptitudes in addition to pertinent physical traits. This research is in step with wider writings proving the effects of genes on different aspects of specialization. The study is also offering vulnerable data for further studies. For instance, one can go for checking the overlapping between instrument choice and different music traits.


ADDIN ZOTERO_BIBL {"uncited":[],"omitted":[],"custom":[]} CSL_BIBLIOGRAPHY Mosing, Miriam A., and Fredrik Ullén. “Genetic Influences on Musical Specialization: A Twin Study on Choice of Instrument and Music Genre.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1423, no. 1 (2018): 427–34.

Subject: Biology and Life Sciences

Pages: 3 Words: 900

Writer's Choice

Article Analysis: The Hobbits

Your Name here



10 December 2019

In 2003, a team of Australian and Indonesian Scientists discovered “Homo floresiensis” which is a recent addition to the evolutionary human tree. The announcement of the discovery of a “new human” generated many questions regarding the origins and their settlement in Flores. The fossils of Homo floresiensis were found along with stone artefacts and the remains of extinct animals in the cold caves of Flores.

The splendid isolation of the Homo floresiensis astonished the scientific world because Flores did not have any connection with the western islands. This shows that ancestors of Homo floresiensis had reached the island via open waters.

They evolved about more than 10,000 years ago but less than 15,000 years, which makes them the most recent of the surviving primitive humans. They shared the earth with modern humans. Stone tools that are around million years old were also found on Flores which serves as a clue to their origins. These stone tools were most probably made by the first inhabitants of Flores. The astonishingly small brain of LB1 of hobbits became a bone of contention for the scientific community. They had a cranial capacity of 400 cm3 which is very small as compared to Homo sapiens, pygmies and other species of Homos which are now extinct ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {"citationID":"oBdWmLeZ","properties":{"formattedCitation":"(Jungers and Baab, 2009)","plainCitation":"(Jungers and Baab, 2009)","noteIndex":0},"citationItems":[{"id":540,"uris":["http://zotero.org/users/local/uHsb2Xzj/items/4M5QXB73"],"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/uHsb2Xzj/items/4M5QXB73"],"itemData":{"id":540,"type":"article-journal","title":"The geometry of hobbits: Homo floresiensis and human evolution","container-title":"Significance","page":"159-164","volume":"6","issue":"4","author":[{"family":"Jungers","given":"William"},{"family":"Baab","given":"Karen"}],"issued":{"date-parts":[["2009"]]}}}],"schema":"https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json"} (Jungers and Baab, 2009). A few scientists assume that such an abnormally small sized head has resulted from some pathological disease. The multivariate statistical analysis shows that it does not resemble the human microcephalics. The architecture of the brain and aspects of its functions are not limited by the small size of the brain. If we only consider the brain size, we may underestimate the cognitive capabilities of the Hobbits. Usage of core and flake technology clearly shows their high level of intelligence.

Small headed Homo erectus and Earliest African Homo species (e.g., Homo habilis) are supposed to be the ancestors of hobbits. The statistical analyses of the shapes of skulls found in modern humans are in one group, microcephalic humans in another and the hobbit was found together in a third group with humans and microcephalic humans. The reconstruction of the body design of hobbits resulted in a different body design than that of modern humans. The thighs and chin bones of the hobbits were smaller than humans. However, the arms are not much shorter in size. This shows that an ancient retention or evolutionary reversal could be the possible biomechanical reasons. The stature of the hobbits cannot be matched among the small bodied hominoids but the body mass of hobbits can be matched. This body mass is distributed over a small frame of skeleton. The hobbit is far stockier as compared to modern humans. The body shape of hobbits has a very different display than those of modern human pygmies who have the same body masses. There is no evident systemic pathology of humans which could reduce the modern humans to the body size and body shape of hobbits and hence transform them into ancient phenotype of our ancestors.

Hobbits cannot be considered as pathological people because the differential medical diagnosis of different microcephaly and dwarfing syndromes have nothing similar with the unique anatomy of hobbits. There exist, no sick humans who could resemble Homo floresiensis because an illness alone cannot reverse the changes in the evolution of a species. Therefore, hobbits cannot have the possibility of being a sub-population of humans that is diseased.

There are two scientific hypotheses that account for the existence of the Homo floresiensis. The process of “Island Dwarfing” is one of the famously known processes of evolution but it only happened among the rodents and carnivores, most frequently. The assumption of “Island Dwarfing” requires a decreased body size and brain size. The hobbits cannot even be evidence of an “Out-of-Africa” event which may have predated the emergence and dispersing of the Homo erectus. There is no evident resemblance between the shape of skull and size of body of the Asian Homo erectus and the Homo floresiensis. The wrist bones of Homo floresiensis are also too primitive and have resemblance to the apes, Homo habilis and australopithecines. The shoulder configuration of the hobbits also resembles with the different ancient hominids. The relatively long feet of hobbits also do not resemble the foot prints of Homo erectus. We need more fossils to verify any of the two hypothesis i.e., migration from Africa or the Island dwarfing of Homo erectus.

Relevance to the Course

The article relates to the field of physical anthropology because it analyzes the hobbits in a holistic manner. It discusses the archeological, biological, cognitive and cultural aspects of the hobbits. The main focus of the article is upon the physical features of hobbits. The difference in the body size and shape of the hobbits and other hominoids is thoroughly discussed. The difference between the size and shape of the brain of hobbits and modern humans is also discussed. The article suggests two possible hypotheses about the origins of hobbits which relate to the discussion of evolution in physical anthropology. The artefacts used by the hobbits were also a subject of the discussion in articles which depicted the high level of cranial capacity and intelligence of hobbits. The physical anatomy and archeological facts are discussed in a correlation which make this article relevant to the course of physical anthropology. Since physical anthropology studies the human biology in correlation to its respective human culture, this article also does the same.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Jungers, William, and Karen Baab. 2009. "The geometry of hobbits: Homo floresiensis and human evolution." Significance 6 (4): 159-164.

Subject: Biology and Life Sciences

Pages: 3 Words: 900

Writer's Choice

[Name of the Writer]

[Name of Instructor]



Biology and Life Sciences

Climate change is the most dangerous threat facing mankind in the twenty-first century and the primary driver of climate change is the carbon concentration in the atmosphere. Carbon emissions contribute to increasing the temperature of the Earth and affect health of individuals. However, there is a mildly positive aspect to climate change as well: photosynthesis in plants increases as a result of the higher concentration of carbon in the atmosphere. Although, this report will shed light on how this leads to further climate change and starts a vicious cycle of increased warming.

Carbon dioxide is one of the primary ingredients of photosynthesis in plants. So, increased carbon concentration in the atmosphere results in greater photosynthesis as the supply of raw materials increases. This leads to quicker growth of plants as carbon concentration increases in the atmosphere. This fact may be interpreted as an additional benefit of climate change but it serves to further climate change. There are two ways in which carbon emissions affect the environment: radioactively and physiologically. The latter effect is especially pertinent to plants as the evapotranspiration is significantly affected. Evidence collected over time has proved that increased carbon concentration decreases evapotranspiration over land. This results in reduced rainfall and contributes to dry atmosphere. The drier the atmosphere gets, the warmer the surface becomes. Another effect of decreased evapotranspiration is that relative humidity over land decreases. These effects combined contribute to further warming of the atmosphere, enhancing the disastrous effects of climate change.

To sum it up, the increasing concentration of carbon in the atmosphere results in decreased transpiration from plants and this affects humidity. The end result is the enhanced temperature that is a result of carbon emissions and the carbon emissions further contribute to warming through physiological forcing. This forms a cycle of warming of the Earth’s surface that worsens the already dire situation due to climate change.

Works Cited

Cao, Long, et al. "Importance of carbon dioxide physiological forcing to future climate change." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107.21 (2010): 9513-9518.

Boucher, Olivier, Andy Jones, and Richard A. Betts. "Climate response to the physiological impact of carbon dioxide on plants in the Met Office Unified Model HadCM3." Climate Dynamics 32.2-3 (2009): 237-249.

Subject: Biology and Life Sciences

Pages: 1 Words: 300

Writer's Choice

Prosocial behavior and sympathy

Your Name here

(1/2 page down from top)

Researchers have succeeded in attaining a lucid and clear account of prosocial behavior among humans and in the animal kingdom In spite of enormous difficulties faced by anthropologists and natural scientists. There has been considerable progress and extensive exploration in recent times in the pursuit of a thorough understanding of the processes of evolution, which have led to the emergence of social behaviors.

One such notable phenomenon that is momentous in connecting individuals and attracts the attention of many biological and anthropological researchers is empathy. The manifestations of this phenomenon from human infants and some species in animal groups have received wide recognition from general public. Prosocial behavior acts as a nuclear ingredient to the smooth running of the human societal life. This behavior is expressed as caring for others, sharing one's resources or the transfer of resources, helping others in harm, and comforting the wounded or injured.

In this article, it is established by multiple experimental studies that infants, as young as 12 months, have an altruistic nature, and their self-sacrificing tendencies are shaped by their social exchanges and associations in the subsequent years. It is also construed that the selfless behavior depicted by the children does not change; instead, it is fortified with increasing experiences and life circumstances CITATION Hay07 \l 1033 (Hay 2007).

The grounds for such behavior have also been probed into, and the extant literature delineates that sympathy and empathy are the two main motivational factors that lead to the altruistic behavior in the children. Regulation of the otherwise complex and intricate social lives of humans is possible when people show these two emotions in their actions.

Mankind is inherently selfish by nature, but the expressions of compassion and altruism are considered as vital life skills and are present in young children and infants. Many studies have proved the caring nature of infants. One such noteworthy study involves children aging less than 18 months, and they have been reported to act prosocially to adults who showed signs of distress. The study deduced that infants substantially empathized with adults who had been harmed and showed no hesitation in sharing resources with them.

The appearance of prosocial behavior in the animal kingdom has been the focal point of debates in the biological and anthropological research centers for long, and the existing literature shows inconclusive results. To arrive at a congruous verdict, a lot of empirical investigation and analyses have been carried out where the subjects of the research were animals.

The subjects of a large number of studies were the non-human primates inclusive of great apes, New World monkeys, and the Old World monkeys, largely due to their pertinence and inter-connectedness with humans.

In this article, four species of great apes were tested, and the research was conducted at Wolfgang Ko¨hler Primate Research Centre at the Zoo Leipzig in Germany, whereby the ethics statement maintained that all the research procedures strictly adhered to the non-invasiveness regarding the animals.

The total count of the subjects was 60, comprising of 37 females and 23 males, and the sample included orangutans, Bornean Orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos ( varying gender in each dyad).

The most interesting thing in this study is the experimental setting, which was distributed in multiple phases. The first phase was a pre-test and its setting was nearly identical to the actual testing procedure.

The test was conducted by grouping the apes in pairs and randomized assignment was done to allocate roles to the apes. There were two categories of roles for the apes, victim, and helper. A human experimenter was also involved and was named E. Some of the subjects were assigned both the roles at different points in the experiment, but they were not allocated the same role in more than two consecutive sessions.

The procedure was unique to its kind, whereby two adjacent rooms were used. In one room, E and the victim were present, and in the adjacent room, the helper was accommodated. The helper was provided with sticks in the possibility of showing concern towards the victim. Sympathy and prosocial behavior could be concluded if the helper transferred the sticks to the victim at the end of the trail. The exchange of interactions between E and the victim was recorded through the lens of one camera, and interactions between victim and helper were also recorded from a second camera. Four conditions with different situations were employed in the trials, which are essentially central to the results of this study and are mentioned as follows:

2 experimental conditions (both beginning with an observation phase and helper witnessing the interactions between E and victim)

Take condition: E was positioned in front of the victim and pretended to give the victim one grape after the other only to pull his hand back when the victim advanced to take it.

Give condition: In this condition, E handed over the grape to the victim.

2 control conditions

No food: This condition involved no food

No victim: In this condition, no victim was present to procure the sticks from the helper in the adjacent room to obtain food

Coding of the video footage was done to arrive at sturdy conclusions, if any. The transfers of the sticks were identified along with any unusual vocal behaviors and arousals.

Results were conclusive of the fact that great apes did not and could not differentiate between and act according to the conditions, but it cannot be deduced from the findings of this study that great apes lack the distinct ability to show sympathy for others. Further research studies can focus on changing the experimental design to draw conclusions that are harmonious with the existing theories regarding prosocial behavior in the animals.

Own thoughts regarding the relevancy of this article towards the course:

After a comprehensive reading of this article CITATION Lie14 \l 1033 (Liebal 2014), it can be postulated that in spite of the popular belief that nature is highly vicious and competitive, altruistic behavior is manifested in the behavior of many species other than humans. This article is relevant to the current section of the course because it analyses pieces of evidence of reciprocal altruism theories and prosocial behaviors, which form a significant portion of the theoretical framework of physical anthropology.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Hay, Dale F., and Kaye V. Cook. 2007. "The transformation of prosocial behavior from infancy to childhood."." Socioemotional Development in the toddler years: Transitions and transformations 100-131.

Liebal, Katja, Amrisha Vaish, Daniel Haun, and Michael Tomasello. 2014. "Does sympathy motivate prosocial behavior in great apes?." PloS one 9, no. 1 1-9.

Subject: Biology and Life Sciences

Pages: 3 Words: 900


Student’s Name

Professor’s Name

Course Code


Coexistence and Conflicts between Shopping Malls and Street Markets in Growing Cities

Street market offers the biggest challenge to many Shopping Malls especially in congested cities and towns where they exist. Street market offers affordable and lower prices to customers and therefore, majority of people prefer purchasing products from the street market. However, street market has unique features and most of them are common with loud music and tents along the streets. It symbolizes the growing culture in most cities. It mostly related to certain degree of looseness and the use of temporary and informality and borrowed space. It has become a common culture in the United States in some of the major cities like New York and Oakland City in California.

The street culture symbolizes many factors in the society and therefore, it relates well with several culture. Street market is symbolizes with music, togetherness and resilient CITATION Raj10 \p 21 \l 1033 (Rajagopal 21). Music is used as form of entertainment and to attract customer. Music is direct link to several activities in my culture. It is sung to show together and announce an important event similar to street market. In most street market music symbolizes and used to attract attention of people passing by. The same happens in my culture where music is used to pass an important message to the community. It is mostly associated with middle and lower class people a notion with many people have. I have been involving in selling food and writing materials along the street and it was interesting and therefore, it indicate the growing population of the street culture.

New vocabulary words

Globalization – A process whereby organization of businesses develop an international connection

Vending –- Selling of goods in the market

Hypermarket - A retail store, which contain almost all departments.

Consequent- the result of effect

Suburbanization – It is define as a sudden shift of people from urban to suburb areas.

Work Cited

BIBLIOGRAPHY Rajagopal. Coexistence and Conflicts between Shopping Malls and Street Markets in Growing Cities: Analysis of Shoppers’ Behavior. New York, 2010.

Subject: Biology and Life Sciences

Pages: 1 Words: 300

Writers Choice

Virtual Earthquake Assignment

[Name of Writer]

[Name of Institution]


Difference Arrival Times (min and sec)

Distance from the Epicenter (km)


3 min 0 sec

1500 km


5 min 0 sec

3000 km


2 min 15 sec

1000 km

Subject: Biology and Life Sciences

Pages: 1 Words: 300

Yellow Fever

[Name of the Writer]

[Name of Instructor]

[Biology and Life Sciences]


Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic mosquito-borne disease. The prevalence of yellow fever is higher in tropical South American and Sub-Saharan Africa. Yellow fever can be catastrophic as it causes high fever and the death of different cells of kidney and livers.

Etiology of Infectious disease

Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible to increase the prevalence of yellow fever in a population. These mosquitoes transmit flavivirus when it bites a human or monkey. Flavivirus is a single-stranded RNA virus. It is notable to mention that these mosquitos transmit the virus back and forth in humans and monkey. It is evident that these mosquitos breed in humid and semi-humid environments. The virus enters the bloodstream of these mosquitos when they bite an infected person or monkey. Transmission of this virus is possible when these infected mosquitos bite another human.

Mode of Transmission

There are three possible transmission cycles for yellow fever. These transmission cycles include sylvatic, Savannah, and urban. In the sylvatic cycle, the transmission of the virus takes place between mosquitoes and monkeys in the forest setting (Monath 164). This virus is transferred from monkeys to human beings when they visit the jungle. In the savannah cycle, the transmission of virus takes place from human to human or from monkey to human in the jungle border areas. The last mode of transmission is the urban cycle in which mosquitoes transfer the virus from humans to humans.

Pathogenesis of disease

The flavivirus is introduced in the dermis in saliva with the help of infected mosquitoes. It is notable to mention that a dose of 3-4 log10 is required in a mosquito to infect a human or monkey. If that required dose is fulfilled, then the virus goes to the draining lymph nodes through lymphatic channels. An extracellular virus is released in the bloodstream of humans through lymph nodes (Gardner, Christina, and Ryman 241). A secondary viremia is caused due to the release of the virus which infects the tissues in the kidney and heart. Extrinsic resistance is caused by Kupffer cells, which hinder the growth of flavivirus in the human body.

Clinical Picture of Disease

It is notable to mention that no specific signs or symptoms appear during the first three to five days of the transmission of infection. The symptoms of yellow fever appeared in two phases, including acute and toxic phase. In the acute phase, a person usually experiences fever, headache, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, sensitivity to light, muscles aches, and red eyes or tongue, and dizziness. Critical symptoms began to appear when it enters in the toxic phase. These symptoms include yellowing of the skin, slow heart rate, decreased urination, abdominal pain, brain dysfunction, bleeding from the nose, and liver and kidney failure.

Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis of the Disease, and Prevention of Disease

Diagnosis of yellow fever is possible with the help of testing serum for the detection of virus-specific IgM. Furthermore, it can also be diagnosed through histopathology with immunohistochemistry, nucleic acid amplification, and autopsy of tissues. Best possible way of preventing yellow fever is through vaccination. It is notable to mention that there are numbers of vaccination strategies to prevent the prevalence of yellow fever such as mass vaccination campaigns, routine infant immunization, and vaccination of travelers. Vaccination for yellow fever is much effective as it can provide protection for more than 10 years (Frierson 77). Mosquito repellent is also effective to maintain appropriate safety from mosquitos. These repellents include skin repellent and non-skin repellent. Skin repellent such as picaridin, IR3535, or DEET are highly effective to safeguard a person from infected mosquitoes.

Works Cited

Frierson, J. Gordon. "The yellow fever vaccine: a history." The Yale journal of biology and medicine 83.2 (2010): 77.

Gardner, Christina L., and Kate D. Ryman. "Yellow fever: a reemerging threat." Clinics in laboratory medicine 30.1 (2010): 237-260.

Monath, Thomas P. "Yellow fever." Vaccines: A Biography. Springer, New York, NY, 2010. 159-189.

Subject: Biology and Life Sciences

Pages: 2 Words: 600

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