Tag: African American

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Distant Cousins

Editors note: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated the name of Mrs. Obama's maternal great-great grandfather. The correct name is Henry Wells Shields. A story in Sunday’s New York Times about first lady Michelle Obama’s distant white relatives echoes some of what we’ve seen more and more of ...

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The Missing Pieces in an African American Family History

As the series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. continues its 10-week run on PBS, The Spittoon will feature posts from 23andMe’s Ancestry Ambassadors featuring their own stories about using DNA to dig into ancestry. By Shannon Christmas African American genealogy remains a challenging ...

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Did You Know? Genetic Research Lags for African Americans

Although there has been a recent boom in DNA research, little is known about the connection between DNA and disease in African Americans. This is because most genetic research studies intentionally limit enrollment to a single population — usually northern Europeans — since the analysis is easier to carry out ...

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Did You Know? Ancestry is Not So Black and White

Data from the 2010 census showed that about 13% of people living in the United States self-identify as African American, but from a genetic point of view, ethnicity isn't so black and white. Most African Americans have genetic ancestry tracing back to both Africa and Europe but the exact proportion can vary ...

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Did You Know? One in Twelve African Americans has Sickle Cell Trait

Sickle Cell Celebrities A number of famous individuals have suffered from sickle cell anemia including Miles Davis, perhaps the most famous jazz musician to have lived (some consider his platinum-selling album Kind of Blue to be THE jazz album), and Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins, a singer and founder of the ...

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The Ancestry Link For Atrial Fibrillation Risk

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common heart rhythm disorder that, while not usually life-threatening on its own, can lead to more serious complications such as heart attack and stroke. AF can be caused by underlying heart problems but high blood pressure, being overweight, and having type 2 diabetes also ...

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Our Top 10 for 2011

We thought 2010 would be hard to top but we’re happy to say that 2011 has been even better. Scientists uncovered new insights into serious conditions like type 2 diabetes and autoimmune disorders as well as traits like iris patterns. New research has also improved our understanding of the genetics of obesity, ...

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Our Hidden African Ancestry

Update: A post at the blog Your Genetic Genealogist just went up with a very similar story to mine. Check it out.   It was just a few thin green segments on my fourth and seventh chromosomes that sent me searching. I wanted to know more about my family history. I pestered my mom with questions ...

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Roots into the Future: A New 23andMe Research Initiative For African Americans

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTYFNwxl3Pw A recent article in Wired Magazine highlighted how the genome revolution has been skipping most people in the world: 96% of participants in recent genomic studies trace most of their ancestry to Europe. Why? Statistical analysis is simpler in groups tracing ...

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Ethnicity Matters in Research: A Case Study in Prostate Cancer

By Angela Liu and Shirley Wu Nearly one in six men in the United States develops prostate cancer. This sobering statistic has spurred tremendous advances in research over the years, such that prostate cancer is now one of the most treatable and survivable cancers. But there is still much we don’t know ...

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