Author: BethannH

Back-to-School: The Genetics of Learning from Your Mistakes

For back-to-school month we’re running a series of posts on genetic factors that may impact learning. Here we describe a variant that may influence a person’s ability to learn from their mistakes. In a prior post we discuss a variant linked to non-verbal IQ performance. Attribution: ...

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Genetics 101 Quiz Extended

Attention all students! We're extending the Genetics 101 quiz through Sunday, September 16th to give everyone plenty of time to brush up on their genetics and earn a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! If you already filled out the quiz and weren’t prompted to enter your name and email address (or you ...

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Back-to-School: Genetics 101

Our Hero Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk and biologist, worked out the pattern of inheritance of various traits. He showed that a “dominant” trait is one that always shows up in offspring while a “recessive” trait is one that is masked by a dominant gene. Update: If you took this quiz before 10 a.m. PST on ...

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The Connection Between Air Travel and Blood Clots

Are you a jetsetter? Long-distance air travel increases a person’s odds of developing a blood clot, a condition known medically as venous thromboembolism (VTE) and dubbed in the media as the “economy-class syndrome”. But choosing coach for your next vacation isn’t the problem per se. Inactivity is the ...

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The Molecular Barcode of Cancer — Targeting Treatment to Patient

Changes in DNA Underlie Cancer Cancer develops when normal cells in the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably because of “mistakes” in the DNA code. DNA (a copy of which is contained in each cell) contains finely tuned instructions for cell growth and production, but as cells copy and pass on this DNA they ...

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Incorporating Technology and DNA Testing into Clinical Trials

Many expensive clinical trials fail because the therapy causes harmful side effects in some or all participants or the drug isn’t effective across the board. Genetics may explain differences in response, but as of today DNA testing isn’t a standard part of clinical trials. Integrating genetic testing into ...

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Updated Results for Hereditary Hemochromatosis

Mutations in the HFE gene cause most forms of hereditary hemochromatosis — a common genetic condition that increases a person’s risk for iron overload and can lead to liver disease, arthritis and heart problems. HFE-related hemochromatosis is recessive, meaning that you must inherit a mutated gene from each ...

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Three Genes for Blood Clots

Numerous factors increase a person’s risk for developing blood clots in deep veins, a condition known medically as venous thromboembolism (VTE). VTE starts with the formation of a blood clot deep in the body, usually in the legs, and occasionally escalates into a more serious condition called “pulmonary ...

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Learning About My Risk For Iron Overload

Bethann is a Health Content Scientist at 23andMe and regular contributor to the Spittoon. The following is her story about finding out she has a genetic condition that puts her at risk for iron overload. When I received my 23andMe results my initial reaction was that of relief and curiosity — only slightly ...

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The Iron Scale: Factors Tipping Towards Overload

Some of us may have grown up thinking that spinach is a good source of iron, but this isn't exactly true. It's been said that a report from the 1800's mistakenly claimed that the vegetable has 10 times more iron than it actually has. It's also known today that spinach contains the molecule oxalic acid, which ...

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