Category: news

What Happens After I Spit? A Saliva Sample’s Saga

The way our Personal Genome Service™ works is pretty straightforward, at least from a customer's point of view. We send you a saliva collection kit, which is at its heart a plastic tube. You spit in the tube and send it to our laboratory, which extracts DNA from your saliva, analyzes it and deposits the ...

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Mouse Research May Shed Light On Human Iron Disorder

Our bodies need iron: to form the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin for our red blood cells, maintain our immune systems and keep our muscles and brains functioning properly. But not too much.  Excess iron can build up in tissues like the liver, heart and pancreas, causing damage and possibly organ ...

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Bugs in Your Mouth: Yours Isn’t the Only DNA Floating Around in that Spit Sample

Each of us is made up of about 50 trillion cells, which is pretty mind-blowing until you consider the number of microbial cells living on or in each of us.  It’s estimated that a healthy adult is lugging around 10 times more bugs, most of them bacteria, than human cells. Just as the tiny differences we ...

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Researchers Make Progress In Understanding Crohn’s Disease By Looking At The Big Picture

Genome wide association (GWA) studies of SNPs are helping scientists learn about the underlying biology of many complex diseases. But even the most enthusiastic proponents of this relatively new type of research admit that many studies simply can’t find genetic variations that have real, but very small, ...

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Leaving No Stone Unturned: DNA Analysis Confirms Identities of Missing Romanovs

There are many mysteries surrounding the final days of the last Emperor of Russia, Tsar Nicholas, and his family.  The most perplexing of them all is the fate of one of the Tsar's daughters, the Grand Duchess Anastasia.  Even after Bolsheviks  murdered the family in the summer of 1918, rumors circulated ...

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New Study Shows That Genetic Information Can Improve Administration Of Commonly Used Blood Thinner

Each time a doctor writes a prescription for warfarin (Coumadin®), a blood thinner given to about two million people each year in the United States, it’s a guessing game.  There is no “right” dose of the drug.  Everyone is different and it can take weeks of adjustment to find a patient’s ideal amount of the ...

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The Most Natural Human Diet: Just About Anything

Generally when you think about what separates humans from other species, features like upright walking, large brains and language come to mind. But diet has actually played an enormous role in human evolution. Today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a panel ...

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How A Person Smokes Might Affect Lung Cancer Risk

For many common diseases, environment is far more important than genetics in determining whether a person will be affected. One of the best examples of this is lung cancer. Nearly 90% of the cases of this disease can be attributed to smoking. Today at the American Association for the Advancement of  ...

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Researchers Announce Draft Version of Complete Neanderthal Genome

First came the Human Genome Project when, in the year 2000, an international team of scientists began mapping all 23 pairs of our chromosomes.  Then in 2005, the Chimpanzee Genome Project took off, attempting to do the same for the 24 chromosomes of our species' closest living relative.  With intimate ...

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Bicentennial Birthday: Darwin Day 2009!

Put on your party hat.  Tomorrow, in universities and public auditoriums, at festivals and museums, people around the world will be celebrating the life and works of one of the most influential scientific minds in history:  Charles Darwin.  February 12th is Darwin's 200th birthday, and this year - 2009 - also ...

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