Category: SNPWatch

SNPwatch: Researchers Identify Genetic Variation That Contributes to Skin Color Differences in East Asians

From rich brown to almost translucent white, human skin colors span a remarkable spectrum. The evolutionary story of how we came to be such a varied species skin color-wise began around 40,000 years ago when the human groups that had left Africa and spread out along the southern coast of Asia began to ...

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SNPwatch: Researchers Identify Variations Associated with When Junior Gets His First Chompers

Researchers have identified several genetic variations associated with the timing of a baby's first tooth and the number of teeth at age one. The results, published recently in the journal PLoS Genetics, could be important for understanding more about human health than just this rite of passage all babies ...

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SNPwatch: Genetic Variant Associated With Lone Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common irregular heart rhythm, affecting one in four people over the age of 40. While not usually life-threatening on its own, individuals with the condition are at increased risk of stroke and heart failure. AF appears most frequently in older, male individuals with a ...

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SNPwatch: Enzyme Deficiency May Protect Against Serious Hepatitis C Treatment Side Effect

People chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus currently have only one treatment option:  a combination of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-ylated interferon alpha and ribavirin (RBV).   Not only does this drug regimen fail to eradicate the virus in about half of all patients who receive it, but even when it ...

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SNPwatch: Researchers Identify Variation Associated with Biological Aging

The candles on your birthday cake tell you how many years you've lived through, but they might not be a reflection of your biological age. Little bits of DNA called telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes.  Over time, through repeated rounds of cell division, telomeres get shorter and shorter.  Thus, ...

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SNPwatch: Genetic Variant Involved in Dangerous Blood Transfusion Reaction Identified

There's no doubt that blood saves lives.  According to the Red Cross, in the United States alone about five million people need a total of 14 million pints of blood each year.  That's 38,000 pints every day. But transfusions are not without their dangers.  Among them is transfusion-related acute lung ...

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SNPwatch: More Common Genetic Variants Associated with Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Cancer of the pancreas, which strikes more than 40,000 men and women in the United States each year, is an especially deadly malignancy.   There is no effective screening test for the disease and it is usually not detected until it has spread throughout the body.  The five-year survival rate is only about ...

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SNPwatch: More Progress in the Search for Genetic Variants Linked to Childhood Asthma

Researchers have identified another region of the genome associated with childhood asthma, a condition that affects more than seven million American kids. Analysis of DNA from about 1,700 children with asthma and 3,500 controls, all of European ancestry, identified several genetic variations on chromosome ...

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SNPwatch: Two More Genetic Variants Linked to Cleft Lip and Palate

A new study has identified more common genetic variants associated with increased risk for cleft lip and palate.  Combined with two previous studies (more here and here), there are now four variations that have been associated with this birth defect that affects about one out of every 700 children ...

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SNPwatch: Genetic Association Study of Leprosy Yields New Insights into an Ancient Disease

Leprosy is a chronic, disabling disease caused by a bacterium (Mycobacterium leprae) that infects only humans and armadillos. The disease affects the skin and peripheral nerves, leading to sores, numbness in the limbs, muscle weakness, and, in severe cases, disfiguring nodules on the skin. Known since ...

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