Archives for 2012

Health Watch: New Year’s Resolutions, Reproduction and Rare Diseases

Like many people around the world, the health content team at 23andMe rang in 2012 with resolutions of staying healthy and it seemed fitting to delve into the genetics underlying response to diet and exercise, eating behavior and cholesterol levels. As we eased in to the new year, we segued into reproduction, ...

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Behind the Scenes with PBS’s Finding Your Roots

As a PBS cameraman recorded the scene, 23andMe scientist Mike Macpherson drew lines connecting photographs of about two dozen celebrities to one another while Henry Louis Gates Jr. riffed on what those links all mean. The connections were sometimes direct family relations but more often than not each ...

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Did You Know? DNA Can Offer Clues about Irish Ancestry.

Nearly 37 million Americans claim to have Irish heritage according to a national survey conducted in 2009. That’s over eight times the number of people living in Ireland today. Although it’s remarkable that nearly 1 in 10 Americans might say “Kiss Me I’m Irish!” on St. Patrick’s day, it’s not clear if all ...

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SNPWatch: A First For Ewing Sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, is diagnosed in only about 250 children and teenagers in the United States each year. The vast majority of Ewing sarcomas are caused by a specific rearrangement of the DNA within bone cells – the EWSR1 gene on chromosome 22 becomes fused to the FLI1 gene on ...

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Talking about Sarcoma with George Demetri

On a recent visit to 23andMe George Demetri —a physician and scientist who is an unpaid advisor to our Sarcoma research initiative — sat down for a short interview after talking to our team. Demetri, who is also director of the Dana-Farber Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology, said he has a lot to be ...

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When DNA Discoveries Hit Close to Home

In August of last year, I wrote  with hope and excitement about the launch of the 23andMe MPN Research Initiative because my father, Harvey, suffers from myelofibrosis.  On March 5, 23andMe scientist Bethann Hromatka posted a SNPWatch report about the association between the JAK2 gene and MPNs. 23andMe ...

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Silver Linings in Rare Disease

Luck is not the word you typically associate with a cancer diagnosis or even a heightened risk of cancer, but some people can see a silver lining even in the darkest storms. Harvey Gould and John Lauerman certainly have. “Some believe that blessings come out of serious adversity,” said Harvey, who was ...

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SNPwatch: The “Jist” on JAK2 and Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) have a complicated name but it’s an apt descriptor for the biology underlying this group of rare blood disorders. MPNs result from excessive production of “myeloid” blood cells that originate in the bone marrow, and come in different forms including essential thrombocythemia ...

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Thank You For Helping to Fight Rare Disease!

On Monday we kicked off a campaign for Rare Disease Day to raise awareness of research, especially into two rare diseases, myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) and sarcoma. We hoped to reach 500 participants in our MPN research initiative and 800 participants in our Sarcoma Community by today, and are happy to ...

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SNPwatch: New Genetic Insight into the Causes of Eczema

Sometimes called the “itch that rashes”, atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a relatively common condition, affecting up to one in five children and one in 30 adults (many people outgrow it by early adulthood). It can be both physically painful and emotionally difficult to live with since it’s not a disorder ...

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