Category: Health and Traits

The Importance of Family Health History

I’m a bad patient. Every time I go to a doctor she asks, “Do you have a family history of any diseases?” I’m ashamed to say that my answer is always “I don’t think so.” Your family health history is a powerful tool for your doctor; it can help him or her make vital screening and treatment decisions. ...

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It’s Not Genes or Environment, It’s Genes AND Environment

A good diet and plenty of exercise are important for maintaining a healthy weight, but they’re not the whole story. Studies have shown that there’s a substantial genetic component to body mass index. Research published today in Archives of Internal Medicine demonstrates, however, that in people with a ...

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Study Finds Genetic Information Has Done Little to Increase Tolerance of Mental Illness

Biomedical research conducted in the last decade has impressed upon society that mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, alcohol dependence and major depression can have genetic bases. Unfortunately, the public’s scientific knowledge has not necessarily translated into social acceptance. “The landscape ...

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SNPwatch: Researchers Find First SNPs Linked To Common Type of Leukemia

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 ...

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SNPwatch: SNP Linked to Dry-type Macular Degeneration Could Spell Trouble For Experimental Wet-type Treatment

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 ...

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SNPwatch: Too Short, Too Fast – A Genetic Variation Associated with Telomere Length

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 ...

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Researchers Find Biological Basis For Crohn’s Association

Just about every week a new genome-wide association study links common variations in the genome to some disease. But only rarely do the authors of these studies have more than a guess of why these SNPs are associated with a particular condition. On Sunday in the online edition of Nature Genetics, ...

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Patients are Consumers: Esther Dyson on the Evolution of Health Care IT

As science types, we're often mystified — and maybe just a little exasperated — by the details of health care policy. But 23andMe director Esther Dyson has a very interesting post on the blog of the policy journal Health Affairs that we recommend. It's very interesting to hear what Esther, a person who ...

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SNPwatch: Focusing on a Gene Variant that Might Help Counter Cigarette Cravings

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States — every year it kills nearly 440,000 Americans. While about 70 percent of the 45 million Americans who currently smoke have said they want to quit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that only about 10 percent ...

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The Rest of the Iceberg

In a recent post we used an analysis of Craig Venter’s genome to illustrate how much has yet to be learned about the relationship between genetic variation and health-related traits. A new paper by Venter and colleagues at his Rockville, Maryland-based institute provides a prime example. Writing in the ...

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