Category: news

Mom’s Experience Can Affect Your Genes

We all know that what a mother eats, drinks, smokes and does during pregnancy can affect her child’s prenatal development. But can it actually affect the baby’s DNA? Animal studies have shown that transient environmental exposures of a pregnant female can produce “epigenetic” changes in her offspring -- ...

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TIME to Thank Our Friends

It was a great honor to learn yesterday that the 23andMe Personal Genome Service™ has been named TIME Magazine's 2008 Invention of the Year. Today the Spittoon would like to acknowledge several 23andMe partners who contributed to the innovation behind our service. We'd like to extend our thanks to ...

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Creating the Invention of the Year: A Look Behind the Scenes

Editor's Note: This week TIME Magazine is naming the 23andMe Personal Genome Service™ its Invention of the Year, an honor that the publication has previously bestowed on innovations such as the iPhone and YouTube. This post by Director of Products Alex Wong (back row, second from right) offers a glimpse at ...

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Did Neanderthals and Humans Mate? Absence of Evidence is Not Evidence of Absence

The Spittoon has pointed out several times in the last few months (here, here and here) that when researchers look for evidence of interbreeding between early humans and Neanderthals, they often fail to find any. But there are still a number of geneticists who would like us to pay heed to the words of ...

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Meet the Team: Michelle Whirl Carrillo

Michelle is 23andMe’s curation manager. “Curation” often evokes images of an old scholar in a musty museum categorizing dinosaur bones for museum exhibits. But in the past decade or so, the term has also come to be used to describe scientists, usually in a biological field, organizing and annotating ...

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Meet the Team: Alex Khomenko

Alex architects the software that runs 23andMe (Python / C++ / Linux / Apache / MySQL) and manages the engineering team. He's committed to finding the best ways to quickly build simple, scalable products (we've had 11 on-time releases in one year). He's also a bit of a security freak. When hockey season ...

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Genetics May Dull Brain’s Pleasure Response to Food, Causing Weight Gain

Although obesity was seen as a sign of social status during the Renaissance, it’s been known since long before then that being overweight is actually unhealthy. We all know that carrying around extra pounds increases the risk for high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, yet one out of three ...

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Genes and Environment Work Together to Increase Risk of Childhood Asthma

“I feel like a fish with no water.” That’s how the child in the public service announcement featuring a flopping, gasping goldfish describes what it feels like to have an asthma attack. The spot encourages parents of the close to nine million kids who suffer from asthma to take steps to decrease the ...

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Roots Television: The Internet TV Channel for Genealogists

People naturally yearn to know where they came from. Genealogists scratch that itch by poring over historical documents such as vital records, tax rolls, census lists and diaries to reconstruct their family history. In recent years, genealogists have also begun using genetic information as another way of ...

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Science in the Suburbs, Part II: More from the Personal Genomes Meeting at Cold Spring Harbor

As talks began Saturday at Cold Spring Harbor's first "Personal Genomes" conference, the first half of which I blogged on here, several leading explorers of the strange new world of "structural variation" in the human genome, such as Evan Eichler and Mike Snyder, shared some of their latest findings. You ...

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