Reading Between the Lines: An Unlikely Use for Mitochondrial DNA Analysis

At the Spittoon we love to hear how scientists are using our DNA to unlock the mysteries of our ancestors.  In fact, hardly a week goes by when we don’t report on the latest discovery in the field of genetic ancestry. Occasionally, however, researchers manage to uncover some mystery of the human past using ...

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Steven Pinker on Personal Genomics

For an insightful and thought-provoking essay on the present and future of personal genomics, as well as the role that 23andMe is playing in its advancement, check out Steven Pinker's essay "My Genome, My Self" in this week's New York Times magazine. Pinker, who is a 23andMe customer himself and also a ...

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One if by Land, Two if by Sea: New Genetics Study Indicates Multiple Paleo-Indian Migration Routes

It seems like new discoveries about the peopling of the Americas are a dime a dozen these days.  Without a doubt, the journey those first Americans took from the frozen wastelands of Asia down the Pacific coast into the Americas has been an active research subject for many decades.  Archaeologists, linguists, ...

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Across the Pillars of Hercules: Recent Study Confirms Prehistoric Connection between Iberia and North Africa

Less than eight nautical miles wide, the Strait of Gibraltar is an easily surmountable barrier between northwest Africa and Spain. Military invaders such as Hannibal of Carthage and the caliphs of the Islamic Empire have had no trouble traversing this sliver of sea in the process of invading Europe. But in ...

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Mouse Research Indicates Effect of a SNP in Humans Might Depend on Diet

New research in mice suggests that people who get lucky and inherit a genetic variant that has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes are not totally in the clear. What they eat could turn the protective variant into a risky one. PPARG is a protein involved in fat storage. The relatively rare ...

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23andWe: The First Annual Update

By Joyce Tung and Amy Kiefer It's been an exciting seven months since we launched 23andWe, the arm of 23andMe that gives people an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate with us on cutting-edge genetic research. Since May, the amount of data we’ve collected has grown at a fast and furious pace. For those ...

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Meet the Team: Chia Hwu

Chia, a former organic chemist who is happy to be out of the lab after a ten-year stint in front of a bench, is the Community Manager at 23andMe. What does this mean, you ask? Well, it's a cross between a den mother, grassroots PR person, customer service agent, brand evangelist and community advocate. This ...

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SNPwatch: The Year in Review

Our SNPwatch posts here at The Spittoon are one of our most exciting features. They give our customers the opportunity to connect their genetic data to the newest discoveries, often within just hours of a study’s publication. Looking ahead to 2009, we can only begin to imagine the exciting discoveries ...

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What’s in a Name: Surnames and the Y-Chromosome

My surname — Holden — has gone through many incarnations since it originated in England nearly 700 years ago.  Letters were added, then dropped.  Some branches of my family added an extra "u" in the middle, while others changed the pronunciation entirely.  Then, when my ancestors arrived in America over 200 ...

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SNPwatch: Variants in Genes for Carcinogen Transporters Linked to Lung Cancer

SNPwatch gives you the latest news about research linking various traits and conditions to individual genetic variations. These studies are exciting because they offer a glimpse into how genetics may affect our bodies and health; but in most cases, more work is needed before this research can provide ...

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