A Short History of Our “Genes of the Week”

For about seven years, the Gene of the Week was an irregular but common feature of this blog. Here are some of our favorites.
Biopolitical Times
The Nice Gene

Jesse Reynolds started it. Now a fondly recalled CGS alumnus, Jesse was in 2007 the primary blogger at Biopolitical Times and noted a New York Times story about kids who are picky eaters. The article mentioned a study claiming that “childhood neophobia” is 78% genetic: “It’s not your cooking, it’s your genes.” Jesse’s mordant headline, on October 15, 2007, was File Under: Gene of the Week.

The first post with what became the standard headline format was on December 14, 2007:

Gene of the Week: Will You Vote?

For about seven years, the Gene of the Week was an irregular but common feature of this blog. Among our favorites:

Gene of the Week: Happiness
Gene of the Week: Virginity
Gene of the Week: One-night stand
Gene of the Week: Being a Gangsta
Gene of the Week: Shyness
Gene of the Week: Entrepreneurship (again)

Also, this lovely variant:

Genism of the week: hybrid cars, chocolate, science fiction movies, mustard and jazz

What seems to have inadvertently ended the series was this entirely serious 2014 post by then-CGS staffer Jessica Cussins:

The Stupidity of the “Smart Gene”
... All “genes of the week” have something in common: they never actually live up to their billing. For starters, it is never true that a single gene just does something. Genes work together, and genomes work with their environments. But this inconvenient reality has done amazingly little to stem genetic determinism ...

Well, if you put it like that ...