Archives for 2010

My $0.02 about The $1,000 Genome

Taken individually, the letters A, G, T, and C seem relatively harmless. However, when arranged three billion strong into a human genetic code, these letters have instilled fear of discrimination, disease risk, and a genetically engineered super race of humans (à la the 1997 film “GATTACA”).  Once only a ...

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Ancestry at 23andMe: Introducing Sheridan

Meet Sheridan*. She's a 27 year old female who signed up for 23andMe during one of our sales. Adopted at eight months, she has no information about her biological roots and the adoption agency has no records other than where she was found -- on the steps of a church in a small town near Atlanta, Georgia. She ...

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SNPwatch: Jeans Too Tight? Don’t Just Blame Your Genes.

In 2009, 27% of Americans met the clinical criteria for obesity—a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater—7 percentage points higher than a mere 9 years earlier. Even this staggering 27% estimate may be too low. A large National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES) study estimated the prevalence of ...

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Guidelines From Professional Human Genetics Societies and 23andMe Policies

by Uta Francke, M.D. The European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) has issued a policy statement on direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing for health-related purposes. Published in the Society's journal, the European Journal of Human Genetics, the statement addresses a multitude of issues and proposes ...

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Ancestry at 23andMe: What Can You Learn?

Genetic testing is not a concept that most people encounter outside of popular TV shows and so when you hear about services such as 23andMe’s, you might be wondering what exactly it is you’re getting. Even after you’ve signed up and have your data back, you might not know where to start exploring or how to ...

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SNPwatch: Genetic Variation Associated with Endometriosis in Asian Women Identified

Endometriosis, one of the most common gynecological conditions, occurs when tissue from the lining of the uterus implants elsewhere in the body—most commonly the fallopian tubes, the ovaries or the pelvis.  This tissue responds to hormonal cycles by thickening, breaking down and bleeding each month. The blood ...

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SNPwatch: New Research Sheds More Light on Role of Genetic Variant in Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), characterized by the gradual loss of the kidneys’ filtering ability, currently affects about 10-13% of adults in the United States.  Patients suffering from the most severe form of the condition, end-stage renal disease, require dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. Rare ...

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SNPwatch: Researchers Link Migraine Susceptibility to Genes Involved in Glutamate Regulation

Headaches are a pain -- literally. But while most people see them as a temporary nuisance, many others find them extremely debilitating. For the 8% of men and 17% of women who suffer from migraine headaches, these long, recurring episodes can include more than just throbbing pain: vomiting, chills, ...

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Lessons at Berkeley: Genetics and Beyond

Having been a genetics educator for over two decades, I was excited to learn in May that Berkeley’s incoming freshman class would have an opportunity to discover whether they have an AA, AG, or GG at a specific site near the LCT gene, along with similar information for the ALDH2 and MTHFR genes.  Time and ...

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SNPwatch: Researchers Identify Genetic Variant That May Affect Liver Cancer Risk in Those Chronically Infected with Hepatitis B Virus

Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is the fourth most common cancer in the world.  More than half a million new cases of this form of liver cancer are reported each year.  Excessive alcohol consumption and obesity have long been linked to HCC, but the main cause of the disease is chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) ...

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