SNPwatch: Focusing on a Gene Variant that Might Help Counter Cigarette Cravings

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States — every year it kills nearly 440,000 Americans. While about 70 percent of the 45 million Americans who currently smoke have said they want to quit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that only about 10 percent ...

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The Rest of the Iceberg

In a recent post we used an analysis of Craig Venter’s genome to illustrate how much has yet to be learned about the relationship between genetic variation and health-related traits. A new paper by Venter and colleagues at his Rockville, Maryland-based institute provides a prime example. Writing in the ...

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Defrosted Disappointment

Despite CNET's assertion last week that Bigfoot couldn't possibly be a hoax because people always bring their A game to Palo Alto, the carcass in the ice has turned out to be a rubber gorilla suit. And the freezer wasn't that big either. Sorry, Bigfoot believers, this means the DNA evidence presented at ...

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Genes and Languages: Not So Strange Bedfellows?

Throughout the history of our species there has been one constant:  movement.  Since the origin of Homo sapiens nearly 200,000 years ago in East Africa, humans have journeyed around the globe, ultimately inhabiting every continent save Antarctica.Scientists have traditionally used archaeology, and more ...

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SNPwatch: SNPs in Ion Channel Genes are Associated with Type 2 Diabetes and Bipolar Disorder

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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Sasquatchsicle Anyone?

On Friday, we sent 23andMe Science Writing Intern Massie Ballon to the most unusual science news event she has ever covered — the announcement in a Palo Alto hotel that two men had discovered the body of a creature they believe to be Bigfoot while hiking in the woods of northern Georgia. This is her ...

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A Matter of Motivation

The following post is by Esther Dyson, a director at 23andMe and investor in numerous private aviation, space and health care ventures, including PatientsLikeMe. Last weekend I attended Science Foo Camp, a sort of grown-up summer camp for scientists sponsored by Google (an investor in 23andMe), Nature ...

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One Man’s Exons: Craig Venter’s Genome Offers Clues About the Future of Personal Genomics

What we know today about the correlation between genetic variation and observable effects on people's health, physical appearance and other traits is just the tip of the iceberg, according to a paper published Friday in PLoS Genetics. The paper analyzes Craig Venter's exons — the parts of the genome that ...

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Recommended Reading: “The Seven Daughters of Eve”

If anybody could turn the history of genetic anthropology into a page-turner, it would be Bryan Sykes. Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, has spent the better of part the last 25 years decoding the mystery of our species’ genetic ancestry through mitochondrial DNA analysis. He ...

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A Different Kind of Gene Mapping: Comparing Genetic and Geographic Structure in Europe

By Chris Gignoux and Mike Macpherson It should be no surprise that in general, we are more genetically similar to our neighbors than to people living far away. The reason is fairly simple — until recently in human history it was fairly rare for people from widely separated geographic regions to even meet, ...

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