Category: SNPWatch

SNPwatch: We Care a Lot

Oxytocin is Greek for “swift birth,” but this hormone — which helps induce labor and promote lactation — has garnered many other names in the media, from the “cuddle chemical” to the “morality molecule.” The “pro-social” effects of oxytocin on humans has become the subject of innumerable studies of varied ...

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SNPwatch: Eating Veggies Can Decrease Genetic Risk for Heart Attack

For some, eating a doughnut every morning is a recipe for heart attack. For others, the doughnut doesn’t seem to matter—it’s almost as if certain individuals can’t get heart disease even if they try. The flip side is that people who are predisposed to heart disease can make lifestyle changes, in this example ...

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SNPWatch: Taking Stock of Dengue Shock

We all know that mosquitoes can be annoying. In many parts of the world, however, mosquitoes are more than just annoying--they are killers. Most people have heard of the mosquito-transmitted disease malaria, which has recently received much publicity through the work of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ...

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SNPWatch: New Genetic Associations For Testosterone Levels in Men

Testosterone sometimes gets a bad rap. Although scientists no longer demonize it as the “aggression hormone,” its use is still considered a form of illegal “doping” in most sports. Setting controversies aside, this hormone certainly plays important roles in health and development. During puberty in boys, ...

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SNPWatch: Genetic Variants Associated with Type 2 Diabetes in South Asians and Europeans

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by very high levels of sugar in the blood and is the most common form of diabetes. Although eating rich food and leading a sedentary lifestyle contribute to the development of this disease, genetics also play a role. For reasons unclear to researchers, people of South Asian ...

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SNPWatch: Genetic Variation is in the Eye of the Beholder

Your iris (the colored part of the eye) can tell a lot about you. Like your fingerprint, the patterns on your iris are complex and unique. Because of this, iris recognition is used in some countries for national identification systems and to automate border crossings. Although we know that no two irises ...

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SNPwatch: Factors Influencing Permanent Tooth Development

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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SNPWatch: Genetic Variation Influences How We Respond to Reinforcement

By Bethann Hromatka   The human brain is hardwired to receive chemical signals from our environment. It primarily does this through receptors—proteins on the surfaces of cells that catch specific molecules when they pass by. An interesting class of receptors is the mu-opioid receptors, so named ...

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SNPwatch: Researchers Investigate Shared Genetic Factors for Autoimmune Diseases

By Bethann Hromatka Autoimmune diseases are caused by an overactive immune system. In these diseases, white blood cells, which normally help your body fight infections, ramp up and attack your own cells and organs. These disorders can be very debilitating and are relatively common, affecting roughly 1 in ...

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SNPwatch: New Associations Found for Multiple Sclerosis

Scientists know that there isn’t one cause for multiple sclerosis (MS), but understanding this complex autoimmune disease has vexed medical researchers for years. In the largest MS study to date, researchers recently identified 29 new genetic variants associated with the disease in people of European ...

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