Genetics: Looking Back and Looking Forward

The tenth anniversary of the completion of the first draft of the human genome is approaching, apparently putting a lot of scientists in the mood for reflection on the past and speculation about the future of genetics. The journal Nature has a series of opinion articles and two news articles on the ...

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23andMe’s New and Improved Maternal Haplogroups

It's springtime for 23andMe's Maternal Line tree! Each one of us can trace our ancestry back through our mother, our mother's mother, her mother, and so on. And there is one piece of our DNA that has been inherited along that exact, maternal line. By examining mutations in this segment of DNA, called ...

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SNPwatch: Believe It Or Not, Researchers Find Genetic Variant Linked To Gullibility

We’ve all fallen for a prank at some point or another – whether it be “hey, your shoe’s untied” or getting surprised at your birthday party after your friend asks you to “just pick up something from the house.” Most people become more wary as they get older but other people manage to remain fundamentally ...

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Malaria Parasite May Have Found Way To Thwart Protective Genetic Variation

Each year at least 350 million people around the world are infected by malaria parasites.  More than one million people, mainly young children, succumb to the disease.  But these numbers would be even higher if it weren’t for genetic adaptations that have evolved in populations living in areas where malaria ...

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Analysis of Ancient DNA Suggests A Previously Unknown Type of Extinct Human Ancestor

Denisova cave from the outside. / Bence Viola. DNA isolated from a tiny bone fragment from the finger of a being that walked the earth between 30,000 and 50,000 years ago has possibly added a new branch to the human family tree. The piece of bone was found in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains, ...

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SNPwatch: Researchers Identify Genetic Variation That Contributes to Skin Color Differences in East Asians

From rich brown to almost translucent white, human skin colors span a remarkable spectrum. The evolutionary story of how we came to be such a varied species skin color-wise began around 40,000 years ago when the human groups that had left Africa and spread out along the southern coast of Asia began to ...

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Confusion Over Utility of Common Genetic Variations in Breast Cancer Risk Prediction

A paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) this week, entitled "Performance of Common Genetic Variants in Breast-Cancer Risk Models," has led several media outlets to declare that common genetic variants have nothing to add when it comes to predicting breast cancer risk.  Here we'll ...

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23andMe Allergy Survey: Nothing to Sneeze At

Spring is about to, well, spring.  And for many of us, that means breaking out the Benadryl® and the tissues as pollen fills the air and our allergies kick in. Allergies are part of the daily lives for one out of four Americans, making allergies more common than heart disease, cancer and diabetes ...

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NIH to Create Public Database of Genetic Tests

Today the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced its plans to create a public database in which genetic test providers will voluntarily deposit information about their services that can then be searched by researchers, consumers, health care providers, and others. The aim of this Genetic Testing ...

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Genetic Tests Can Reduce Risks From Blood Thinner Warfarin

Editor’s note: Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports referred to in this post. Customers who purchased prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will not. Those customers will have ...

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