FDA Adds Boxed Warning to Plavix Label to Highlight Reduced Effectiveness of the Drug In Poor Metabolizers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated the label information for the commonly used anti-clotting medication Plavix® (clopidogrel) to stress to physicians that patients carrying certain genetic variations may not receive the full benefit from the drug. Plavix reduces the chance a harmful ...

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer (excluding skin cancers) and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Each year about 150,000 people are diagnosed with the disease. Risk factors for colorectal cancer include age (most cases occur in people over 50), ...

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SNPwatch: Researchers Identify Variations Associated with When Junior Gets His First Chompers

Researchers have identified several genetic variations associated with the timing of a baby's first tooth and the number of teeth at age one. The results, published recently in the journal PLoS Genetics, could be important for understanding more about human health than just this rite of passage all babies ...

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Don’t Miss the Final Episode of Faces of America this Wednesday!

Faces of America is a four-part series in which Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uses genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 12 renowned Americans in an effort to understand what made the United States the place it is today. The final episode, "Know Thyself" airs this Wednesday ...

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SNPwatch: Genetic Variant Associated With Lone Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common irregular heart rhythm, affecting one in four people over the age of 40. While not usually life-threatening on its own, individuals with the condition are at increased risk of stroke and heart failure. AF appears most frequently in older, male individuals with a ...

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Attention Human Genetic History Buffs

The journal Current Biology has a special review issue on the global genetic history of Homo sapiens.  The articles are written for a fairly technical audience, but if it's a topic you're interested in, you might want to check it out.  All of the articles are available online for free. Archaeogenetics — ...

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SNPwatch: Enzyme Deficiency May Protect Against Serious Hepatitis C Treatment Side Effect

People chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus currently have only one treatment option:  a combination of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-ylated interferon alpha and ribavirin (RBV).   Not only does this drug regimen fail to eradicate the virus in about half of all patients who receive it, but even when it ...

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Southern African Genomes Sequenced

Group of hunters from the Ju/’hoansi tribe in the Namibian Bush/ Stephan C. Schuster Researchers from Penn State University, the University of New South Wales in Australia, and the Baylor College of Medicine have sequenced the genomes of four individuals from different groups of the click-speaking San of ...

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SNPwatch: Researchers Identify Variation Associated with Biological Aging

The candles on your birthday cake tell you how many years you've lived through, but they might not be a reflection of your biological age. Little bits of DNA called telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes.  Over time, through repeated rounds of cell division, telomeres get shorter and shorter.  Thus, ...

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Researchers Use SNP Analysis to Paint Picture of an Ancient Human

Artist's impression of Inuk based on genetic analysis Nuka Godfredsen/Nature Tufts of hair rescued from the permafrost in Greenland and then tucked away in a basement in Denmark for more than 20 years have given scientists their first glimpse into the genetics of an ancient human. Eske Willerslev and ...

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