SNPwatch: New Psoriasis SNPs Found for both Europeans and Asians

SNPwatch gives you the latest news about research linking various traits and conditions to individual genetic variations. These studies are exciting because they offer a glimpse into how genetics may affect our bodies and health; but in most cases, more work is needed before this research can provide ...

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Thinking Outside the Box: Bacterial Genetics and the Peopling of the Pacific

Not all bacteria are bad.  Sure, there are plenty of nasty bugs that can make life pretty unpleasant; the ones that cause leprosy, anthrax, and cholera immediately come to mind. But there are also plenty of beneficial bacteria living inside of us that we may not even know about. Some of them help us ...

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JAMA Publishes User’s Guides to Help Physicians Understand Genetic Association Studies

It’s a situation that would leave many physicians at a loss. A 55-year-old man with a family history of dementia asks his doctor about genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease. Is there a test? Which test should be used? Is testing even appropriate? This week the Journal of the American Medical ...

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SNPwatch: One Variation, Many Cancers

SNPwatch gives you the latest news about research linking various traits and conditions to individual genetic variations. These studies are exciting because they offer a glimpse into how genetics may affect our bodies and health; but in most cases, more work is needed before this research can provide ...

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No Good Evidence That Potential Pool of Mad Cow Disease Victims Is Expanding

It sounds like something from a nightmare: decades after eating a tainted hamburger you develop an incurable, fatal disease that literally eats holes in your brain. Unfortunately, for some people this is a nightmare that is all too real. In the 1990s a small number of people in the UK developed a variant ...

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SNPwatch: Variation in DNA Repair Genes May Increase Risk for Pancreatic Cancer

SNPwatch gives you the latest news about research linking various traits and conditions to individual genetic variations. These studies are exciting because they offer a glimpse into how genetics may affect our bodies and health; but in most cases, more work is needed before this research can provide ...

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Cereal Killer: The Tragic Tale of a Fatal Statistical Flaw

Pop Quiz: What do women who eat cereal for breakfast each morning have in common? They get a full day's supply of 11 essential vitamins and minerals. They enjoy better sex lives than women who don't eat cereal for breakfast. They are more likely to give birth to male children. They make buying ...

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Reading Between the Lines: An Unlikely Use for Mitochondrial DNA Analysis

At the Spittoon we love to hear how scientists are using our DNA to unlock the mysteries of our ancestors.  In fact, hardly a week goes by when we don’t report on the latest discovery in the field of genetic ancestry. Occasionally, however, researchers manage to uncover some mystery of the human past using ...

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Steven Pinker on Personal Genomics

For an insightful and thought-provoking essay on the present and future of personal genomics, as well as the role that 23andMe is playing in its advancement, check out Steven Pinker's essay "My Genome, My Self" in this week's New York Times magazine. Pinker, who is a 23andMe customer himself and also a ...

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One if by Land, Two if by Sea: New Genetics Study Indicates Multiple Paleo-Indian Migration Routes

It seems like new discoveries about the peopling of the Americas are a dime a dozen these days.  Without a doubt, the journey those first Americans took from the frozen wastelands of Asia down the Pacific coast into the Americas has been an active research subject for many decades.  Archaeologists, linguists, ...

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