Tag: African American

23andMe’s African Ancestry Project

The human story begins in Africa, but for many African Americans searching for their ancestral roots, finding where their family story begins on that great continent is nearly impossible, because the slave trade severed those connections. 23andMe is launching an initiative that we hope will change ...

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More Diversity Needed in Genetic Research

By Anne Pinckard The high rates of type 2 diabetes in some minority communities as well as the rates for prostate cancer among African American men are a good illustration of how a person’s risk for a disease can depend on ancestry. The problem is scientists haven’t done enough research in minority ...

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Genetics, Puberty and African American Girls

Several studies have shown that certain girls, particularly African-American girls, experience puberty earlier than others, but there’s an ongoing debate about what that might mean. There are a number of reasons why some girls begin puberty earlier than others. Girls who are heavier tend to enter puberty ...

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A New Health Report To Take To Heart

What are you doing this month to celebrate matters of the heart? No, we're not talking about your Valentine’s Day plans; we're talking about your heart health plans. February is American Heart Month. One way to observe this special month is to learn about heart health genetics, and one place to start is ...

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Who Planted The Family Tree?

by Emily Chang, Joanna Mountain and Mike Macpherson Click on the image above for a larger version of this chart, which shows that some ancestry combinations are more common than others in the 23andMe database. Given the “melting pot” nature of the United States, it is not surprising that most ...

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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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Raising Awareness For Sickle Cell Disease

June 19th is World Sickle Cell Awareness Day and commemorates the date in 2008 when the United Nations began recognizing this group of genetic blood disorders as a public health concern. Sickle cell disease affects millions around the globe and nearly 100,000 people in the United States. It’s relatively ...

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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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