Category: Health and Traits

No Hype Over Hypothyroidism

What do media mogul Oprah Winfrey, actress Mary-Louise Parker, and Olympic runner Carl Lewis have in common? Aside from their more than 15 minutes of fame, all three have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, a condition where the body does not make enough thyroid hormone. This, in turn, can lead to fatigue, ...

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Gene Fusions Point to a New Type of Sarcoma

The term “sarcoma” encompasses over a hundred forms of rare cancers, and the cause behind many of these forms is unknown. Ewing sarcoma, however, is one sarcoma for which the biology is relatively well understood.  This form is caused by a gene fusion -- a DNA rearrangement resulting in two genes being fused ...

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The State of the Science of Parkinson’s Research

Recently, Todd Sherer, CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), Brian Fiske, vice president of research programs at MJFF, and Emily Drabant, 23andMe’s research manager for its Parkinson’s community, sat down and took stock of the recent advances in Parkinson’s research. Their conversation centered ...

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Unexpected Associations with Parkinson’s

As part of Parkinson’s Awareness Month 23andMe is releasing the first of three surprising associations we’ve found between Parkinson’s and certain traits. The associations are surprising because they appear so unrelated to the disease itself, but they may offer insight into the direction for future ...

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Great Expectations for Personal Genomes

A study published yesterday in Science Translational Medicine from a group at Johns Hopkins University set out to determine the best-case power of genetics to provide clinically meaningful information about risk of common diseases. The authors did this using data from identical twin pairs: by seeing how often ...

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Spending Less and Improving Health Care

In the lead up to this week’s arguments at the Supreme Court over the health care reform law, 23andMe got the opinion of two doctors on what’s ailing the country’s medical system. On separate visits we heard from Bob Kocher, an MD and partner at Venrock who previously served as a special assistant to the ...

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Hope in a Pill: New Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis Approved

The realization of a long-awaited hope arrived this past month for many families in the form of a new treatment for cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common recessively inherited diseases, affecting about 30,000 people in the United States. There are at least 500 mutations in a gene ...

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The Debate Over Clopidogrel Continues

In December a new study created quite a stir in the already-volatile clopidogrel research community. Clopidogrel (trade names Plavix®) is a commonly prescribed anti-clotting drug. It is inactive in the body until a protein encoded by the gene CYP2C19 converts the drug to its active form. Some people are able ...

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Patient-Centered Medicine and PatientsLikeMe

There’s nothing futuristic about personalized medicine, but James Heywood, the chairman and co-founder of PatientsLikeMe, likes to pull a line from a futurist and science fiction writer to describe it. “There’s a William Gibson quote that I think is appropriate,” Heywood said in a recent interview in ...

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Listening to Leroy Hood

When Dr. Leroy Hood talks there’s a reason a lot of people in the fields of medicine, biology and genetics listen. Beyond his pioneering work in developing automated gene sequencing, Hood helped found companies as diverse as Amgen and Applied Biosystems; he is one of only about a dozen people who belong to ...

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