Category: 23andMe Research

SNPwatch: A New Genetic Variant Associated with ALS Risk and Age-of-Onset

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a rare and deadly neurological disorder affecting voluntary muscle movement. It typically claims victims' lives about three years after symptoms begin. In the United States,  the condition is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, after the Yankees slugger who died ...

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SNPwatch: Do These Genes Make Me Look Fat? It Depends on What You Eat

We all know people struggling with weight issues. Maybe they’re overweight and can’t seem to lose the pounds no matter what new diet or exercise regime they try. Or, maybe they’re underweight and have a hard time bulking up no matter how many donuts they consume or weights they lift. Clearly, there’s more to ...

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SNPwatch: New Study Rats Out A Genetic Variant Associated with Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a common disease characterized by high blood glucose levels and unresponsiveness to insulin. Individuals with type 2 diabetes may produce insulin at normal levels but do not respond to it sufficiently, either because the insulin receptors in their cells have become less sensitive or because ...

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SNPwatch: Genetic Variant Affects HIV Viral Set Point and Disease Progression

More than 30 million people worldwide are living with HIV, and about three million more are infected each year. Although people infected with the virus are living longer and healthier lives thanks to intense research, there is still no cure. One way to identify new strategies for fighting HIV is to look to ...

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SNPwatch: Piecing Together The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Puzzle

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic autoimmune disorder – encompassing both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – that affects more than a million people in the United States. Normally, our immune system works to fight off harmful pathogens that might pass through our digestive tract. In IBD, ...

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SNPwatch: Common Genetic Variants Associated With Risk for Parkinson’s Disease Identified in Asian and European Populations

PET scans showing dopamine activity in a normal brain and a Parkinson’s patient’s before and after treatment with a therapeutic implant. More than a million Americans have Parkinson’s disease, and another 50,000 are diagnosed each year. Scientists know that many of the characteristic symptoms of ...

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SNPwatch: Three New Genetic Variants Associated With Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, occurs due to accumulated wear and tear – welcome to old age! – or from repetitive movements or injury.  Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is caused by an autoimmune attack on the lining of the joints, resulting in stiffness, muscle aches, and general ...

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SNPwatch: Genetic Variations May Impact Risk of Hearing Loss in Children Receiving Common Chemotherapy Drug

Cisplatin, a cancer chemotherapy drug first approved by the FDA in 1978, revolutionized the treatment of many types of cancer.  Despite its effectiveness, in many cases doctors are forced to reduce the drug's dose, or abandon it altogether, due to serious side effects on patients' hearing. Between 10-25% ...

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Research participants have a right to their own genetic data

The Kaiser Permanente Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health (RPGEH) is an exceptional study that has the potential to transform medicine.  As someone who proudly spent over 25 years as a patient with Kaiser, I would be excited to see my family's medical records used for such a worthy cause.  I was ...

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SNPwatch: The Bad Driving Gene?

New research suggests that your skills behind the wheel may be affected by your genes. To better understand the effects of a variant in the BDNF gene on motor skills learning, Steven Cramer and colleagues at UC Irvine tested 29 subjects in a driving simulator. Their results, published in the journal ...

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