The Widely Whirled New World: A Fresh Look at Latino Genetic Ancestry

Latin America is the home of dances as varied as the stately rumba and the racy salsa. It ranges over searing deserts, rocky heights, and sultry jungles. Perhaps it should not be a surprise, as a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows, that its people run ...

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New Evidence Suggests Interbreeding Between Humans and Neanderthals

This picture shows three bones (Vi33.16, Vi33.25, Vi33.26) from Vindija cave, Croatia. Most of the Neandertal genome sequence was retrieved from these bones./ Image courtesy of Max-Planck-Institute EVA A new study of the Neanderthal genome, published online today in the journal Science, presents strong ...

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Twin Study Points to Importance of Non-genetic Factors in Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, causing unpredictable and varying symptoms that differ from person to person. About 1 in 700 people in the United States is affected by the disease. Because MS often runs in families, it's thought that there is a ...

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SNPwatch: Genetic Variant May Impact Rate of Cognitive Decline in the Elderly

New research, published recently in the journal Neurology, has found the surprising result that a genetic variant previously associated with better cognitive function in young people appears to have the opposite effect as people get older. Alexandra Fiocco and colleagues from the University of California, ...

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DNA Day!!!

Well, maybe we should say DNA weekend.  Sunday is officially DNA day, but a lot of festivities are happening today to accommodate classroom schedules.  Check your local libraries and science museums to see if there are any activities planned near you (The Spittoon assembled a few here). Today everyone ...

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SNPwatch: Genetic Variant Associated with Food Allergy-related Disorder Eosinophilic Esophagitis

For the millions of children and adults with severe food allergies, ingesting even tiny quantities of some of the most basic foods can result in a potentially deadly reaction.  Milk, eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat are some of the most common offenders. Some people with food sensitivities have ...

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23andMe Launches Sarcoma Community

Sarcomas are an extremely rare set of cancers that affect the bone and connective tissues such as muscle, bone, fat, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels, and the like. With the launch of the new Sarcoma Community, 23andMe hopes to recruit a research cohort that will serve as a platform for research ...

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SNPwatch: More Genetic Variations Linked to AMD, a Leading Cause of Vision Loss

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss in the western world among people over 60. The two forms of the disease – wet and dry – both cause vision loss by destroying cells in the central portion of the retina. In the last few years, progress in ...

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DNA Day is Coming Soon!

DNA Day was created in 2003 by concurrent (Senate and House) congressional resolution to celebrate two important milestones in the study of genetics: the 50th anniversary of the description of the double-helix structure of DNA by James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick and the completion of the Human ...

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SNPwatch: Three New Genetic Variants Associated with Brain Aneurysm Identified

An aneurysm occurs when the wall of a blood vessel weakens and balloons outward, making the blood vessel abnormally large. The larger the vessel becomes, the greater the risk of rupture — a serious emergency. Often there are no symptoms of an aneurysm until a rupture occurs. Brain (also known as intracranial) ...

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