SNPwatch: Common Genetic Variants Associated With Risk for Parkinson’s Disease Identified in Asian and European Populations

PET scans showing dopamine activity in a normal brain and a Parkinson’s patient’s before and after treatment with a therapeutic implant. More than a million Americans have Parkinson’s disease, and another 50,000 are diagnosed each year. Scientists know that many of the characteristic symptoms of ...

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Get Just the Information You Want: 23andMe To Offer Separate Health and Ancestry Editions

Some people want to know everything their genetics can tell them, while others are interested in only part of the story.  That's why starting next week, on Thursday November 19th , we will begin offering our service as two distinct products to better meet the needs of our customers:  The 23andMe Ancestry ...

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SNPwatch: Three New Genetic Variants Associated With Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, occurs due to accumulated wear and tear – welcome to old age! – or from repetitive movements or injury.  Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is caused by an autoimmune attack on the lining of the joints, resulting in stiffness, muscle aches, and general ...

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SNPwatch: Genetic Variations May Impact Risk of Hearing Loss in Children Receiving Common Chemotherapy Drug

Cisplatin, a cancer chemotherapy drug first approved by the FDA in 1978, revolutionized the treatment of many types of cancer.  Despite its effectiveness, in many cases doctors are forced to reduce the drug's dose, or abandon it altogether, due to serious side effects on patients' hearing. Between 10-25% ...

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Research participants have a right to their own genetic data

The Kaiser Permanente Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health (RPGEH) is an exceptional study that has the potential to transform medicine.  As someone who proudly spent over 25 years as a patient with Kaiser, I would be excited to see my family's medical records used for such a worthy cause.  I was ...

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Ewwww: Cruise Ship Cleanliness Not What It Should Be

The “stomach flu” isn’t really the flu at all. It’s actually viral gastroenteritis, and its most common cause is a group of viruses called noroviruses. No matter what you call it, the illness is highly contagious and very unpleasant — symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. In close quarters, ...

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SNPwatch: The Bad Driving Gene?

New research suggests that your skills behind the wheel may be affected by your genes. To better understand the effects of a variant in the BDNF gene on motor skills learning, Steven Cramer and colleagues at UC Irvine tested 29 subjects in a driving simulator. Their results, published in the journal ...

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Medco to Include Genetics in Comparison of Anti-Clotting Drug Effectiveness

Medco Health Solutions, Inc., announced this week that it will conduct a clinical trial to assess whether clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix®, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-aventis) is just as effective as the newer drug prasugrel (Effient™, Eli Lilly and Company) in people who lack a genetic variation that ...

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Revealed: The Genetic Origin and History of an Elusive Anabaptist Community

There are over 50,000 people in North America who define themselves as Hutterites, though you probably have never met one. One of the main branches of the Anabaptists, Hutterites live in self-sustaining communities throughout the rural northwestern United States and Canada. Like their sister branches, the ...

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SNPwatch: New Variants Associated With Lupus in Europeans and Asians

Lupus, which means "wolf" in Latin, gets its name from the skin manifestations sometimes seen in the disease. A physician in the 13th century thought they looked like wolf bites. In autoimmune disorders, the immune system — which normally protects us from harmful, foreign substances — goes into overdrive ...

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