Category: 23andMe Research

SNPwatch: Apple or Pear? How Genes Help Shape Your Shape

You’ve probably heard about the fruit-based analogies to describe body shape. “Apples” tend to carry more weight around their waist whereas “pears” tend to be heavier around the hips and thighs. But the differences between apples and pears extend beyond simple appearance. Studies have shown that physical ...

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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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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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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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GAO Studies Science Non-Scientifically

As we posted here on the Spittoon yesterday, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on “Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing and the Consequences to the Public Health.” Central to this hearing was an investigation by ...

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Absence of Evidence Is Not Evidence of Absence: Understanding What Genetic Testing Can (And Can’t) Tell You

Earlier today science writer Ed Yong wrote about his experience with 23andMe over at his blog, Not Exactly Rocket Science.  In this piece, he said that his 23andMe results showed that if he procreated with another science writer named Mark Henderson (a joke, as both are male), their child would not have ...

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SNPwatch: Uncertainty Surrounds Longevity GWAS

[Update: This study was formally retracted by Science on July 22, 2011] A genome-wide association study of extreme longevity published last week in the journal Science has been receiving a lot of press attention.  The results are quite extraordinary: the authors identify 70 loci with genome-wide ...

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