Category: Health and Traits

The Complex Genetic Architecture Underlying Human Differences

You’d be forgiven for assuming your height has nothing to do with the curl of your hair or how flexible you are, but physical traits can sometimes have unexpected connections. Last week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics in San Francisco, 23andMe’s Principal Scientist and ...

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A Genetic Variant Protective Against Alzheimer’s

This past summer researchers announced they’d discovered a rare genetic variant that may be protective against Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is an important topic among 23andMe customers so naturally they asked for more information about the variant. After a review of the research,  we recently released ...

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Blood Thinners and the Genetics Behind Drug Response

A study in the journal Lancet regarding a new blood thinning drug brings to mind the difficulty doctors and patients have in using anticoagulants to prevent clots that could otherwise lead to heart attacks or strokes. The mostly commonly used blood thinner, warfarin (Coumadin®) has proven to be a godsend ...

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Hemochromatosis in Women Before and After Menopause

September is Menopause Awareness Month. It’s important for postmenopausal women to be aware of their increased risk for a variety of health conditions including iron overload in those with hereditary hemochromatosis. Hereditary hemochromatosis is a common genetic condition that makes a person more prone to ...

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Older Dads

For a long time prospective fathers could wile away the years without much worry about when to have kids, while prospective moms were constantly checking their ticking biological clocks.A recent study may turn the tables a bit, pushing men to think a little more about how long they wait to start a ...

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World Alzheimer’s Day

Editor’s note: Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports referred to in this post. Customers who purchased prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will not. Those customers will have ...

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African Ancestry and Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

A study published in March in the journal PLoS ONE suggests that having more African ancestry is associated with higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States, affecting about 26 million people and more than 25% of the population over the ...

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Back-to-School: The Genetics of Learning from Your Mistakes

For back-to-school month we’re running a series of posts on genetic factors that may impact learning. Here we describe a variant that may influence a person’s ability to learn from their mistakes. In a prior post we discuss a variant linked to non-verbal IQ performance. Attribution: ...

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A Map of the Uncharted Genome

We’re a little late to the party, but yesterday a consortium of scientists, who are part of a project called The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, or ENCODE, came out with what some are calling a roadmap of the human genome. It’s a big party. More than 400 scientists worked on the project, which was funded ...

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Fighting Rare Blood Cancers

Dr. Ross Levine Last year 23andMe launched a Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Research Initiative to study this group of rare blood cancers. We are now very close to reaching our goal of enrolling 1,000 patients and are encouraged by what we’ve already learned. We’re also humbled that another star in the ...

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