“What ELSI is new?” at Genomics Law Report

Dan Vorhaus at Genomics Law Report has launched "What ELSI is new?", a series of guest posts on the most pressing ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) relating to genomics.  (You gotta love the name.)  The contributor list is a who's who of voices in the ELSI, policy, and blog worlds.  I'm honored to be ...

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SNPwatch: The Plot Thickens For Thinning Bones

Our bones are amazing structures, capable of supporting tremendous force through complex motions. They do this day in and day out, year after year as we sit, stand, walk, run, lift, work, and play. But as the elderly among us know all too well, bones are not invincible and become more fragile as we age. As ...

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Life on the Fringe: Shrews and Voles Reveal Clues to British Prehistory

Through the millennia wave after wave of migrants - often in the form of invading armies – have descended upon the British Isles. The first people to arrive after the Ice Age were hunter-gatherers who followed their prey north from southern Europe about 12,000 years ago. The Celts came from central Europe ...

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SNPwatch: Genetic Clues to Bowel Disease Found in Mice and Men

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which can appear as either ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, damages the lining of the digestive tract and leads to abdominal cramps, incomplete digestion and nutritional deficiencies. Previous research on IBD gave researchers reason to suspect that the CD39 gene, ...

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SNPwatch: Researchers Find More Genetic Variants Associated With Prostate Cancer

In the United States, prostate cancer affects about one in every six men.  Genomewide association studies aimed at finding common genetic variants associated with this common disease have been particularly successful. More than a dozen SNPs have been associated with prostate cancer, but researchers calculate ...

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New Genetic Analysis Sheds Light on Origins of Indian Castes

For as long as humans have lived in complex communities, cities and civilizations, they have divided and classified their societies. Those divisions have been based on age, gender, appearance or - in many cases - occupation. In many traditional societies artisans would share the same social status; as would ...

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

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness and is estimated to affect over 66 million people worldwide. This group of diseases is typically caused by increased pressure in the eye, which slowly damages the optic nerve and leads to gradual vision loss and eventual, incurable blindness if left ...

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Human Prehistory 101: Out of (Eastern) Africa

Take a look at the second installment of 23andMe's Human Prehistory 101 series.  23andMe's creative team (led by chief illustrator Ariana Killoran) recently released "Out of (Eastern) Africa."  With this new installment, we pick up where the previous video left off, when humans were starting to take their ...

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SNPwatch: Evidence for Gene-Environment Interaction in Alcoholism

Addiction to alcohol is associated with the brain’s reward system, which reinforces behaviors that feel good — like drinking — by releasing neurotransmitters such as dopamine and endorphins. With prolonged alcohol consumption, a person's brain can gradually adapt to the point that excessive amounts of ...

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SNPwatch: More Evidence That Genetic Variations are Important for Hepatitis C Infection and Treatment

Unlike the flu virus, which the body is generally able to fight off completely, infection with hepatitis C is often chronic.  That means for most of the three to four million people worldwide who are newly infected each year the virus will persist in the body, where it greatly increases risk for chronic ...

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