Expert Analysis:
Genetics & Health

July 12, 2016

Red hair gene variants associated with increased mutations in skin cancer

Skin cancer patients who have variations in the MC1R gene, linked to red hair and freckles, have more mutations in their tumors, according to a study in Nature Communications. Continue reading

July 6, 2016

Genetic risk scores associated with Alzheimer’s marker in young people

A genetic risk score for Alzheimer’s is associated with a known marker of the disease in healthy, young adults, according to the results of a new study. Continue reading

June 1, 2016

Genetic mutation explaining progressive multiple sclerosis identified

Scientists have identified a mutation strongly associated with the progressive form of multiple sclerosis (MS) and suggest the discovery presents a new drug therapy target for MS treatment. Continue reading

May 23, 2016

Older men missing Y chromosome in blood more likely to develop Alzheimer’s

Researchers tracking older men have found an association between the loss of the male-only Y chromosome in blood cells and higher likelihood of Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Continue reading

April 11, 2016

Search of over 500,000 genomes yields thirteen individuals apparently resistant to severe genetic diseases

Thirteen individuals with genetic mutations that cause severe diseases but whose medical records indicate they are healthy have been identified in a sample of over half a million genomes. Publishing in Nature Biotechnology, the study authors say such ‘resilient’ individuals … Continue reading

March 31, 2016

Epigenetic changes in developing fetuses linked to smoking during pregnancy

Smoking while pregnant can cause epigenetic changes to the DNA of newborns, according to a large scale meta-analysis of thirteen previous studies. The authors say their results could help explain the higher risks of health problems such as birth defects and cancer in children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy. Continue reading

March 15, 2016

DNA tests don’t motivate healthy behavior, finds review of research

People are unlikely to change their behavior when told they have a genetic risk for common diseases like type 2 diabetes or heart disease, according to a systematic review in The BMJ. Continue reading

January 27, 2016

Researchers may have found a genetic reason for differences in schizophrenic brains

A rare biological link between a gene associated with schizophrenia and differences in the brains of people with the psychiatric disorder has been reported in Nature. Continue reading

December 17, 2015

Genomes of centenarians yield new genes associated with long life

Researchers have reported finding new genes associated with living an unusually long life, according to a study in PLOS Genetics. By developing a statistical method which incorporates information about genetic risk of developing fatal diseases, the researchers pulled out five new genes associated with living far longer than normal. Continue reading

December 16, 2015

New analysis finds environmental factors, not random mutations, contribute to majority of cancer risk

Researchers publishing in Nature calculated that 70-90% of the risk of developing cancer can be attributed to extrinsic, environmental factors such as ultraviolet radiation and carcinogens rather than intrinsic factors such as random DNA mutations. Continue reading

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