Author: BethannH

Did You Know? Ancestry is Not So Black and White

Data from the 2010 census showed that about 13% of people living in the United States self-identify as African American, but from a genetic point of view, ethnicity isn't so black and white. Most African Americans have genetic ancestry tracing back to both Africa and Europe but the exact proportion can vary ...

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Did You Know? One in Twelve African Americans has Sickle Cell Trait

Sickle Cell Celebrities A number of famous individuals have suffered from sickle cell anemia including Miles Davis, perhaps the most famous jazz musician to have lived (some consider his platinum-selling album Kind of Blue to be THE jazz album), and Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins, a singer and founder of the ...

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SNPwatch: KIF6 Tangos with LDL Cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease

LDL is the “bad” cholesterol that clogs arteries and is linked to coronary heart disease. Although people can do a lot to lower LDL levels and prevent heart disease — eating healthy, exercising, and taking certain medications — it’s also likely that genetics influences the relationship between LDL and heart ...

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Health Watch: 78 New and Updated Health Reports in 2011

In 2011, 23andMe added or updated 78 health reports. Many of these reports fall into the “disease risk” category and cover complex conditions like Alzheimer's disease, coronary heart disease, and hay fever (allergic rhinitis), to name a few. We also added new “trait” reports, for instance on the genetics ...

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SNPwatch: We Care a Lot

Oxytocin is Greek for “swift birth,” but this hormone — which helps induce labor and promote lactation — has garnered many other names in the media, from the “cuddle chemical” to the “morality molecule.” The “pro-social” effects of oxytocin on humans has become the subject of innumerable studies of varied ...

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Is Autoimmunity a Result of Genetic Adaptation to Pathogens?

Pinworms—small worms that infect the intestines—are the most common worm infection in the United States. Although all people are over 99.9% genetically identical, the small amount of diversity that does exist between individuals tends to track with ethnicity. This is probably pretty obvious—an individual of ...

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SNPwatch: Eating Veggies Can Decrease Genetic Risk for Heart Attack

For some, eating a doughnut every morning is a recipe for heart attack. For others, the doughnut doesn’t seem to matter—it’s almost as if certain individuals can’t get heart disease even if they try. The flip side is that people who are predisposed to heart disease can make lifestyle changes, in this example ...

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SNPWatch: New Genetic Associations For Testosterone Levels in Men

Testosterone sometimes gets a bad rap. Although scientists no longer demonize it as the “aggression hormone,” its use is still considered a form of illegal “doping” in most sports. Setting controversies aside, this hormone certainly plays important roles in health and development. During puberty in boys, ...

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SNPWatch: Genetic Variants Associated with Type 2 Diabetes in South Asians and Europeans

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by very high levels of sugar in the blood and is the most common form of diabetes. Although eating rich food and leading a sedentary lifestyle contribute to the development of this disease, genetics also play a role. For reasons unclear to researchers, people of South Asian ...

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SNPWatch: Genetic Variation is in the Eye of the Beholder

Your iris (the colored part of the eye) can tell a lot about you. Like your fingerprint, the patterns on your iris are complex and unique. Because of this, iris recognition is used in some countries for national identification systems and to automate border crossings. Although we know that no two irises ...

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