A Genomic Moment

Russ AltmanRuss Altman.

In a recent post on his “Building Confidence” blog, 23andMe scientific advisor Russ Altman recounts an experience that should be familiar to 23andMe customers who regularly read The Spittoon. After reading a recent New England Journal of Medicine paper about a genetic variant associated with the development of side effects among people taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, Altman logged into his 23andMe account and checked his own genotype at the SNP in question.

“In about 30 seconds I went from reading an article of potential interest to checking my genotype and drawing a preliminary conclusion,” Altman wrote. “I must say it was quite quick, informative, even fun.”

Russ discovered that his genotype does not put him at elevated risk for statin-induced muscle soreness — not an earth-shattering realization, but one that he said might make him more comfortable with taking cholesterol-lowering drugs should he ever need them.

Now, most of us don’t scour the New England Journal looking for papers that might have relevance to our own health. That’s why The Spittoon publishes SNPWatch posts that announce the latest findings and identify the SNPs that 23andMe customers can use to see how that research might apply to them. In fact, we published a post on the statin-induced myopathy paper when it first came out back in July.

So if you’re a 23andMe customer who is interesting in learning about a particular topic, don’t forget to check The Spittoon as well as your account — because the latest research often appears here first.