It’s a question we’re getting used to: “Why are you called 23andMe?” Many of you know the answer by now: our name refers to the 23 pairs of chromosomes usually found in humans. But a question you may not know the answer to is “Why do humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes? Why not 13? Or 27?” Well, it [...]
February 19, 2008
How’d We Get 23?
January 31, 2008
SNPwatch:Shuffling SNPs Have Opposite Effect in Men and Women
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 [...]
January 27, 2008
Spit Kit Giveaway
23andMe co-founders Linda Avey and Anne Wojcicki were in Switzerland last week for the World Economic Forum. When they announced on Monday that they would be providing the 23andMe service free to 1,000 conference attendees, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch was a little bummed – he had already purchased the [...]
January 9, 2008
Aren’t We All the Same?
Credit: Moncrief It’s well established that at the DNA level, humans are about 99.9% identical. But the slight genetic differences that account for the remaining 0.1% can have significant consequences when it comes to genetic research. In genome-wide association (GWA) studies, scientists look at [...]
January 9, 2008
Sex, money, dancing, eating….and voles?
At the end of last year (2007) you may have seen reports claiming that scientists in Israel discovered the “gene for altruism.” What they actually found was that a variation in a gene called AVPR1a influences how much money students give to others in the “dictator game,” an experiment where subjects make [...]
January 4, 2008
My Genome is in a Tube of Spit?
Spit has DNA? Well, not exactly. Spit has cells in it, and the cells have DNA. For everything except bacteria (and some other types of single-celled organisms), DNA is wound up tightly inside a cellular structure called the “nucleus”. It’s actually pretty amazing how well it’s packed - the DNA of a [...]
January 3, 2008
Colonists and Colon Cancer
When Mr. and Mrs. George Fry arrived in the New World nearly four centuries ago, they brought with them not just dreams of a better life, but a curse – a genetic mutation that has caused thousands of their descendants to develop cancer. Scientists reported on Wednesday that they had tracked a mutation that [...]