Tag: Africa

SNPwatch: New Genetic Associations Revealed for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) arises in the upper part of the throat, behind the nose.  It is rare in most areas of the world—affecting only about 1 in every 100,000 people—but about 25 times more common in southern China, earning it the name "Cantonese Cancer."  NPC rates are also high in southeastern Asia, ...

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Genes, Languages and Artifacts Yield Insights Into African Prehistory

The author during her time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya. As a Peace Corps volunteer teaching in Kenya 25 years ago, I was fascinated by the cultural, linguistic, and physical differences among the people of eastern Africa. One of our Kenyan trainers took us to a "boma" where his tall, ...

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Southern African Genomes Sequenced

Group of hunters from the Ju/’hoansi tribe in the Namibian Bush/ Stephan C. Schuster Researchers from Penn State University, the University of New South Wales in Australia, and the Baylor College of Medicine have sequenced the genomes of four individuals from different groups of the click-speaking San of ...

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Large Study Reveals Details of African American Genetic Ancestry

As shown in these ancestry paintings from 23andMe, the proportion of African DNA can vary widely for African Americans. A recent study led by Carlos Bustamante of Cornell and Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania has shown that genetically speaking, African American can mean a lot of different ...

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2009 Spittoon Highlights – Part 2

In our last post we highlighted a few of the coolest (in our opinion!) health-related developments of 2009.  But human genetics isn't all about disease.  Here are a few more favorites: The Romanovs 2009 saw the identification of the remains of the missing members of this Russian royal family, as well as ...

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SNPwatch: Common Variants May Influence Glaucoma Risk in Individuals of African Descent

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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Gloom but not Doom, Concludes Study in Malaria Area

Malaria is one of the leading causes of death in the developing world, claiming nearly a million victims each year. The great majority of them are African children below the age of five. The illness is caused by a single-celled parasite called Plasmodium that is transmitted by mosquito bites to humans. In a ...

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Scientists Publish Largest-Ever Study on the Genetics of Modern Africans

When scientific research is published, the authors often confess that they wish they'd collected more data. Critical reviews of research studies often say the same thing. Indeed, if there's anything scientists love, it's more data. Which is why the members of an international team of genetic ...

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The Origins of the Forest-Dwelling African Pygmies

Once distributed throughout tropical Africa, Pygmies now live in pockets of the continent's rainforest.Africa is home to a number of dwindling hunter-gatherer populations, most of them living deep in the rainforests that stretch from western Africa's Atlantic coast to the eastern edge of the Democratic ...

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The Origins of Pastoralism in Africa: What do the Genes Say

This guest post is by Brenna Henn, a doctoral student in Stanford University's Department of Anthropology and a 23andMe consultant. Brenna studies human evolution using genetic information. Her interests include the origin of modern humans, migration patterns among African groups, and genetic models of ...

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