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Keyword: heredity

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  • Gingers could become extinct due to climate change, experts warn

    07/06/2014 5:09:47 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 73 replies
    The Mirror ^ | 7-6-14 | Natalie Evans
    Scientists believe the gene that causes red hair could die out if temperatures continue to rise Polar bears and Emperor penguins aren't the only species under threat due to climate change. Gingers could become extinct as a result of increasingly sunny skies, experts have warned. Scientists believe the gene that causes red hair is an evolutionary response to cloudy skies and allows inhabitants to get as much Vitamin D as possible. But if predictions of rising temperatures and blazing sunshine across the British Isles turn out to be correct, flaming red heads could cease to exist within centuries. While only...
  • Homosexuality, Heredity & Biological Determinism

    08/31/2013 9:32:33 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 16 replies
    Stand to Reason ^ | 03/17/2013 | Greg Koukl
    I want to reflect on this new research that has been in all of the newspapers the last couple of days and has dominated the air waves on talk shows all over this fair city. I responded a little bit to the issue yesterday when Craig and I were together at Anchor Bible Bookstore. I want to be sensitive not to be redundant and not to pound this whole issue to death, but I want to make a couple of remarks on this issue, not so much to give you a concerted opinion on the research because part of my...
  • Western Civilization Dumber Than 100 Years Ago

    05/23/2013 5:19:17 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 75 replies
    Breitbart's Big Government ^ | May 23, 2013 | William Bigelow
    A new study may stimulate the old adage of respecting your elders; it says the general level of intelligence in the Western Hemisphere has declined since the Victorian Era. The study claims the IQ numbers are 14 points lower than from the 19th century. One of the authors of the study, Dr. Jan te Nijenhuis, professor of work and organizational psychology at the University of Amsterdam, says the cause of the movement toward stupidity is that smarter women have fewer children while those of lower intelligence have more children. But Dr. Gerald Crabtree, professor of pathology and developmental biology at...
  • Lysenkoism (before Sagan, Hanson and global warming "consensus" there was Stalin's scientist)

    01/07/2011 7:24:25 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 31 replies
    BBC ^ | January 7, 2011 | Vanity
    In 1928, as America lurched towards the Wall Street Crash, Joseph Stalin revealed his master plan - nature was to be conquered by science, Russia to be made brutally, glitteringly modern and the world transformed by communist endeavour. Into the heart of this vision stepped Trofim Lysenko, a self-taught geneticist who promised to turn Russian wasteland into a grain-laden Garden of Eden. Today, Lysenko is a byword for fraud but in Stalin’s Russia his outlandish ideas about genetic inheritance and evolution became law. They reveal a world of science distorted by ideology, where ideas were literally a matter of life...
  • Blonde women born to be warrior princesses (My Genes Made Me Spoiled)

    01/16/2010 5:59:49 PM PST · by GOPGuide · 108 replies · 4,718+ views
    Times of London ^ | January 17, 2010 | John Harlow
    IT really is a case of blonde ambition. Women with fair hair are more aggressive and determined to get their own way than brunettes or redheads, according to a study by the University of California. Researchers claim that blondes are more likely to display a “warlike” streak because they attract more attention than other women and are used to getting their own way — the so-called “princess effect”. Even those who dye their hair blonde quickly take on these attributes, experts found. The study could cast fresh light on the ability of Joanna Lumley, the actress and former model, to...
  • James Q. Wilson: The DNA of Politics - Genes shape our beliefs, our values, and even our votes.

    01/30/2009 1:31:37 PM PST · by neverdem · 28 replies · 822+ views
    City Journal ^ | Winter 2009 | James Q. Wilson
    Children differ, as any parent of two or more knows. Some babies sleep through the night, others are always awake; some are calm, others are fussy; some walk at an early age, others after a long wait. Scientists have proved that genes are responsible for these early differences. But people assume that as children get older and spend more time under their parents’ influence, the effect of genes declines. They are wrong. For a century or more, we have understood that intelligence is largely inherited, though even today some mistakenly rail against the idea and say that nurture, not nature,...
  • New Route For Heredity Bypasses DNA

    01/04/2008 8:35:22 PM PST · by Maelstorm · 33 replies · 519+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | (Jan. 4, 2008) | ScienceDaily(Princeton University)
    ScienceDaily (Jan. 4, 2008) — A group of scientists in Princeton's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology has uncovered a new biological mechanism that could provide a clearer window into a cell's inner workings. What's more, this mechanism could represent an "epigenetic" pathway -- a route that bypasses an organism's normal DNA genetic program -- for so-called Lamarckian evolution, enabling an organism to pass on to its offspring characteristics acquired during its lifetime to improve their chances for survival. Lamarckian evolution is the notion, for example, that the giraffe's long neck evolved by its continually stretching higher and higher in...
  • Agency Approves Drug to Treat Genetic Disorder That Can Lead to Retardation

    12/13/2007 11:22:54 PM PST · by neverdem · 1 replies · 95+ views
    NY Times ^ | December 14, 2007 | ANDREW POLLACK
    The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the first drug to treat a rare genetic disorder that can lead to mental retardation, possibly allowing some people to relax a regimented diet now used to control the disease. All babies born in the United States are screened for the disease, called phenylketonuria, or PKU. To avoid damage to the brain, people with the disease must adhere to a strict low-protein diet, particularly in childhood but also later in life. The new drug, called Kuvan, “will be life-changing for some patients,” said Dr. Stephen D. Cederbaum, a professor at the University...
  • All Brains Are the Same Color

    12/10/2007 9:04:00 PM PST · by neverdem · 35 replies · 131+ views
    NY Times ^ | December 9, 2007 | RICHARD E. NISBETT
    JAMES WATSON, the 1962 Nobel laureate, recently asserted that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” and its citizens because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really.” Dr. Watson’s remarks created a huge stir because they implied that blacks were genetically inferior to whites, and the controversy resulted in his resignation as chancellor of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. But was he right? Is there a genetic difference between blacks and whites that condemns blacks in perpetuity to be less intelligent?...
  • New Stem Cell Method Could Ease Ethical Concerns

    11/20/2007 1:23:29 PM PST · by neverdem · 10 replies · 141+ views
    NY Times ^ | November 21, 2007 | GINA KOLATA
    Two teams of scientists are reporting today that they turned human skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells without having to make or destroy an embryo — a feat that could quell the ethical debate troubling the field. All they had to do, the scientists said, was add four genes. The genes reprogrammed the chromosomes of the skin cells, making the cells into blank slates that should be able to turn into any of the 220 cell types of the human body, be it heart, brain, blood or bone. Until now, the only way to get such...
  • Bright Scientists, Dim Notions

    10/28/2007 8:04:58 PM PDT · by neverdem · 24 replies · 59+ views
    NY Times ^ | October 28, 2007 | GEORGE JOHNSON
    AT a conference in Cambridge, Mass., in 1988 called “How the Brain Works,” Francis Crick suggested that neuroscientific understanding would move further along if only he and his colleagues were allowed to experiment on prisoners. You couldn’t tell if he was kidding, and Crick being Crick, he probably didn’t care. Emboldened by a Nobel Prize in 1962 for helping uncoil the secret of life, Dr. Crick, who died in 2004, wasn’t shy about offering bold opinions — including speculations that life might have been seeded on Earth as part of an experiment by aliens. The notion, called directed panspermia, had...
  • Gap in Illness Rates Between Rich and Poor New Yorkers Is Widening, Study Shows

    09/27/2007 11:09:04 PM PDT · by neverdem · 27 replies · 98+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 28, 2007 | SARAH KERSHAW
    The gap between the health of New Yorkers living in poverty and those with higher incomes has widened since the early 1990s, according to a survey released yesterday. It found that residents of poor neighborhoods in the city are experiencing alarming rates of diabetes and steady increases in other chronic illnesses like heart disease, while other residents have seen slower increases or even declines. Health disparities are not new, but experts say the report by the city comptroller, William C. Thompson Jr., sharply underscores a greater gulf. It also shows a costly and dangerous trend in health care today: preventable...
  • In Like Flynn: What is Intelligence?

    10/02/2007 11:09:43 AM PDT · by Sherman Logan · 23 replies · 448+ views
    National Review Online ^ | October 2, 2007 | Thomas Sowell
    One of the longest-running controversies in history has been that between those who believe intelligence to be inherited and those who see it as determined by environment. If time has not resolved that question, it has at least led to sharper definitions of the question and a muting of some of the dogmatism among those on both sides of this issue. The eugenics movement of the early 20th century was based on the fear that, since people of lower mental ability tended to have more children than people of higher mental ability, the average level of the nation's intelligence would...
  • Genes Tied to Bad Reactions to Antidepressant Drug

    10/01/2007 1:00:20 AM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies · 115+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 28, 2007 | BENEDICT CAREY
    Variations in two genes may increase the likelihood that a person will report suicidal thoughts after taking an antidepressant, researchers reported yesterday. The finding could help doctors develop tests to predict which patients will do well on such medications and which will react badly. The authors of the study, which was released to reporters yesterday and will appear in The American Journal of Psychiatry on Monday, said that the findings were preliminary and would need to be verified by further testing. The study focused on reactions to only one drug, Celexa from Forest Laboratories, and found no link between the...
  • Drug Makers Seek Clues to Side Effects in Genes

    09/27/2007 1:57:06 AM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies · 68+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 27, 2007 | ANDREW POLLACK
    Seven of the largest pharmaceutical companies have formed a group to develop genetic tests to determine which patients would be at risk from dangerous drug side effects. The new group, the International Serious Adverse Events Consortium, is one of a wave of cooperative research efforts sweeping the drug industry, as companies come under pressure to cut costs and increase their success rates in developing medications. The Food and Drug Administration has encouraged the formation of such groups. If drugs could be withheld from patients who have a genetic risk for serious side effects, it could not only protect the patients...
  • Study Finds Evidence of Genetic Response to Diet

    09/09/2007 7:48:53 PM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies · 539+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 10, 2007 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Could people one day evolve to eat rich food while remaining perfectly slim and svelte? This may not be so wild a fantasy. It is becoming clear that the human genome does respond to changes in diet, even though it takes many generations to do so. Researchers studying the enzyme that converts starch to simple sugars like glucose have found that people living in countries with a high-starch diet produce considerably more of the enzyme than people who eat a low-starch diet. The reason is an evolutionary one. People in high-starch countries have many extra copies of the amylase gene...
  • Study Finds Genetic Key to a Kind of Glaucoma

    08/10/2007 7:35:13 PM PDT · by neverdem · 301+ views
    NY Times ^ | August 10, 2007 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Researchers have discovered the genetic flaws that underlie a major type of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. By pinpointing what goes wrong, their finding may provide a basis for devising new treatments. The finding is part of a continuing wave of discoveries about the genes underlying common diseases. The wave began this spring as researchers reported the first results using a new device, DNA-scanning chips containing information on up to 500,000 genetically variable sites across the human genome. By comparing the genomes of patients with those of people in good health, researchers can identify which of the variable sites...
  • Patient in Experimental Gene Therapy Study Dies, F.D.A. Says

    07/27/2007 12:34:42 AM PDT · by neverdem · 17 replies · 667+ views
    NY Times ^ | July 27, 2007 | DENISE GRADY and ANDREW POLLACK
    A patient has died in a study of an experimental gene therapy, the Food and Drug Administration reported yesterday. The agency said it was investigating the death to determine whether the treatment was to blame. The case could be another setback for gene therapy, a field with a troubled history and numerous treatment failures, including the death of a teenager in 1999 in an experiment. The new therapy being tested, made by Targeted Genetics of Seattle, is a virus-based product injected directly in the joints in hope of relieving active inflammatory arthritis. That chronic condition can affect multiple joints and...
  • Scientists Find Genetic Link for a Disorder (Next, Respect?)

    07/20/2007 1:51:27 AM PDT · by neverdem · 23 replies · 528+ views
    NY Times ^ | July 19, 2007 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Imagine you keep waking up with a fierce urge to move your legs, each time further eroding your sleep quota and your partner’s patience. You have restless legs syndrome, a quaintly named disorder whose sufferers may get more respect now that its genetic basis has been identified. Two independent teams, one in Germany and one in Iceland, have identified three variant sites on the human genome which predispose people to the condition. The advance should help scientists understand the biological basis of the disorder, which could lead to new ideas for treatment. The new findings may also make restless legs...
  • Genetic Engineers Who Don’t Just Tinker

    07/08/2007 11:38:42 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies · 485+ views
    NY Times ^ | July 8, 2007 | NICHOLAS WADE
    FORGET genetic engineering. The new idea is synthetic biology, an effort by engineers to rewire the genetic circuitry of living organisms. The ambitious undertaking includes genetic engineering, the now routine insertion of one or two genes into a bacterium or crop plant. But synthetic biologists aim to rearrange genes on a much wider scale, that of a genome, or an organism’s entire genetic code. Their plans include microbes modified to generate cheap petroleum out of plant waste, and, further down the line, designing whole organisms from scratch. Synthetic biologists can identify a network of useful genes on their computer screens...
  • On the Horizon, Personalized Depression Drugs

    06/20/2007 10:54:13 AM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies · 336+ views
    NY Times ^ | June 19, 2007 | RICHARD A. FRIEDMAN, M.D.
    Imagine that you are depressed and see a psychiatrist who explains that you have clinical depression and would benefit from an antidepressant. So far, so good. But then the doctor tells you there is a 60 percent chance that you’ll feel better with this antidepressant and that it could take as long as four to six weeks to find out, during which time you’ll probably have some side effects from the drug. I have just described the state-of-the-art pharmacologic treatment of major depression in 2007. Don’t get me wrong; we have very effective and safe treatments for a broad array...
  • Genetic Testing + Abortion = ???

    05/13/2007 1:20:06 AM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies · 703+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 13, 2007 | AMY HARMON
    SARAHLYNN LESTER, 32, considers herself a supporter of abortion rights. She gives money to the National Abortion Rights Action League and volunteers for Planned Parenthood. But as a woman who continued a pregnancy after learning that her child would have Down syndrome, she also has beliefs about the ethics of choosing, or not choosing, certain kinds of children. “I thought it would be morally wrong to have an abortion for a child that had a genetic disability,” said Ms. Lester, a marketing manager in St. Louis. As prenatal tests make it possible to identify fetuses that will have mental retardation,...
  • From DNA Analysis, Clues to a Single Australian Migration

    05/10/2007 10:35:40 PM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies · 739+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 8, 2007 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Geneticists re-examining the first settlement of Australia and Papua-New Guinea by modern humans have concluded that the two islands were reached some 50,000 years ago by a single group of people who remained in substantial or total isolation until recent times. The finding, if upheld, would undermine assumptions that there have been subsequent waves of migration into Australia. Analyzing old and new samples of Aborigine DNA, which are hard to obtain because of governmental restrictions, the geneticists developed a detailed picture of the aborigines’ ancestry, as reflected in their Y chromosomes, found just in men, and their mitochondrial DNA, a...
  • Gene Identified as Risk Factor for Heart Ills

    05/03/2007 11:35:39 PM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies · 205+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 4, 2007 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Two rival teams of scientists have discovered a common genetic variation that increases the risk of heart disease up to 60 percent in people of European descent. The scientists say they hope a test for the variant can be developed to enable doctors to assess patients at risk more accurately and to recommend early interventions like cholesterol-lowering statins and methods to reduce blood pressure. Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. The genetic variant is so common that some 50 percent of people in European populations carry one copy of it, and about 20 percent of people have...
  • For Motherly X Chromosome, Gender Is Only the Beginning

    05/02/2007 3:15:36 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies · 422+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 1, 2007 | NATALIE ANGIER
    As May dawns and the mothers among us excitedly anticipate the clever e-cards that we soon will be linking to and the overpriced brunches that we will somehow end up paying for, the following job description may ring a familiar note: Must be exceptionally stable yet ridiculously responsive to the needs of those around you; must be willing to trail after your loved ones, cleaning up their messes and compensating for their deficiencies and selfishness; must work twice as hard as everybody else; must accept blame for a long list of the world’s illnesses; must have a knack for shaping...
  • A United Kingdom? Maybe

    03/05/2007 7:44:25 PM PST · by neverdem · 50 replies · 1,300+ views
    NY Times ^ | March 6, 2007 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Britain and Ireland are so thoroughly divided in their histories that there is no single word to refer to the inhabitants of both islands. Historians teach that they are mostly descended from different peoples: the Irish from the Celts and the English from the Anglo-Saxons who invaded from northern Europe and drove the Celts to the country’s western and northern fringes. But geneticists who have tested DNA throughout the British Isles are edging toward a different conclusion. Many are struck by the overall genetic similarities, leading some to claim that both Britain and Ireland have been inhabited for thousands of...
  • Progress Is Reported on a Type of Autism

    02/20/2007 12:31:00 AM PST · by neverdem · 2 replies · 375+ views
    NY Times ^ | February 20, 2007 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Researchers have found that Rett syndrome, a severe form of autism, may not be so entirely beyond repair as supposed. In mice that carry the same genetic defect as human patients and have similar symptoms, the disease can be substantially reversed, even in adult mice, by correcting the errant gene. This is a surprising result for a neurological disease. Biologists generally assume that if the brain does not wire itself correctly at specific stages of development, the deficit can never be corrected. The treatment for the Rett mice would not work in people because it involved genetically engineering the mice...
  • Out West, With the Buffalo, Roam Some Strands of Undesirable DNA

    01/08/2007 11:41:23 PM PST · by neverdem · 15 replies · 1,053+ views
    NY Times ^ | January 9, 2007 | JIM ROBBINS
    MALTA, Mont. — The animals certainly looked like bison, with the characteristic humps and beards. But just to make sure, a pick-up truck slowly rolled up to them, and a bison wrangler shot a drug-filled dart into one of several calves. A few minutes later the anesthetized animal was on the ground, grunting and squirming. Several men warily moved in to hobble the animal and take blood samples. This bison wrangling was being done to test the genetics of a herd of 39 animals that is being used by the American Prairie Foundation as seed stock to re-create a large-scale...
  • Reunited At Last! This Is David, The Brother I Lost Just 1,000 Years Ago

    12/31/2006 2:56:02 PM PST · by blam · 45 replies · 1,678+ views
    The Guardian (UK) ^ | 12-31-2006 | Robin McKie
    Reunited at last! This is David, the brother I lost just 1,000 years ago Gene study is throwing a new light on our nation's history - and our personal ancestry, reports science editor Robin McKie Sunday December 31, 2006 The Observer (UK) A scientific revolution is taking place in the study of our ancient past. Once the preserve of academics who analysed prehistoric stones and crumbling parchment, the subject has been transformed by the study of our genes by scientists who are using the blood of the living to determine the actions of men and women centuries ago. In the...
  • Lactose Tolerance in East Africa Points to Recent Evolution

    12/11/2006 12:43:08 PM PST · by neverdem · 31 replies · 1,358+ views
    NY Times ^ | December 11, 2006 | NICHOLAS WADE
    A surprisingly recent instance of human evolution has been detected among the peoples of East Africa. It is the ability to digest milk in adulthood, conferred by genetic changes that occurred as recently as 3,000 years ago, a team of geneticists has found. The finding is a striking example of a cultural practice — the raising of dairy cattle — feeding back into the human genome. It also seems to be one of the first instances of convergent human evolution to be documented at the genetic level. Convergent evolution refers to two or more populations acquiring the same trait independently....
  • An Epidemic No One Understands

    11/30/2006 9:46:43 PM PST · by neverdem · 63 replies · 1,864+ views
    NY Times ^ | November 28, 2006 | DENISE GRADY
    When our first son developed asthma as a 3-year-old, my husband and I felt pretty much blindsided. We were only a little less shocked when the same thing happened to our second son, at the same age. The disease turned out to be tenacious, and for years both boys needed inhalers or a nebulizer machine several times a day to prevent asthma attacks that could keep them up half the night, coughing and wheezing. Both had eczema, too, and the kind of food allergies — to nuts, peanuts and shellfish — that can lead to fatal reactions. What caused all...
  • Despite Equal Cancer Care, a Racial Disparity Persists

    11/25/2006 7:42:40 PM PST · by neverdem · 12 replies · 505+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 26, 2006 | NICHOLAS BAKALAR
    Black women with uterine cancer are more likely to die than white women, even when the progression of the disease is equal and they are given identical treatments, researchers report. The reasons for the disparity are unclear. The racial difference in survival among women with uterine cancer, sometimes called endometrial cancer, is well known. The American Cancer Society estimates that 7 percent of the 41,000 cases of endometrial cancer last year were in black women, but they accounted for 14 percent of the 7,000 deaths. According to the National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate is 86 percent for white...
  • ?Sonic Hedgehog? Sounded Funny, at First

    11/11/2006 8:04:06 PM PST · by neverdem · 18 replies · 890+ views
    NY Times ^ | November 12, 2006 | JOHN SCHWARTZ
    Rename That Gene ?LUNATIC fringe,? ?head case? and ?one-eyed pinhead? might sound like insults from the schoolyard or talk radio. But these are actually examples of the kind of oddball names that scientists give to genes they discover. The idea is to make the names unique and memorable ? with so many genes being discovered and described, a little color helps scientists tell them apart. But the trouble comes when science is transmuted into medicine; what works in the lab may be jarring in the clinic. The names are causing problems for doctors who have to counsel patients about genetic...
  • The Wide, Wild World of Genetic Testing

    09/14/2006 10:11:28 PM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies · 408+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 12, 2006 | ANDREW POLLACK
    A MEDICAL journal in March published a study suggesting that drinking coffee can raise the risk of heart attack, but only for people with a gene that makes them slow metabolizers of caffeine. Experts called the finding intriguing, but said it needed to be validated by others and its health implications better understood. Still, Consumer Genetics, a company formed only a month earlier, is already advertising a genetic test that purports to tell consumers whether they can continue to enjoy their morning jolt. That is how fast things can move in the rapidly expanding, chaotic and largely unregulated world of...
  • Live Long? Die Young? Answer Isn’t Just in Genes

    08/31/2006 11:07:46 PM PDT · by neverdem · 14 replies · 1,082+ views
    New York Times ^ | August 31, 2006 | GINA KOLATA
    Josephine Tesauro never thought she would live so long. At 92, she is straight backed, firm jawed and vibrantly healthy, living alone in an immaculate brick ranch house high on a hill near McKeesport, a Pittsburgh suburb. She works part time in a hospital gift shop and drives her 1995 white Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera to meetings of her four bridge groups, to church and to the grocery store. She has outlived her husband, who died nine years ago, when he was 84. She has outlived her friends, and she has outlived three of her six brothers. Mrs. Tesauro does, however,...
  • Saving Lives With Tailor-Made Medication

    08/29/2006 7:57:48 PM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies · 311+ views
    NY Times' Terrorist Tip Sheet ^ | August 29, 2006 | CLAUDIA DREIFUS
    A Conversation With Mary V. Relling MEMPHIS — In Mary V. Relling’s office in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital sits a small ceramic statue of St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of impossible causes. Dr. Relling, the head of the department of pharmaceutical sciences at St. Jude, has a fondness for impossible causes. Her own is pharmacogenetics, a clinical discipline in which doctors use high-tech genetic testing to custom-make drugs to patients’ individual needs. Though pharmacogenetics is controversial and not yet widely done, Dr. Relling, 46, travels the country advocating its use. At St. Jude, patients with leukemia are now...
  • How Human Cells Get Their Marching Orders

    08/20/2006 1:02:58 AM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies · 431+ views
    The Treacherous NY Times ^ | August 15, 2006 | NICHOLAS WADE
    The human body may seem to change little over the years, but beneath this deceptive calm, cells are in constant flux as old ones are discarded and new ones appear. How do the new recruits know where they are meant to go? Biologists at Stanford University say they have discovered a coordinate system in human cells that defines their position in the body. This seems to be the first time a cell-based positioning system has been reported for the adult body of any animal, though positioning systems that guide cells in embryogenesis are well known. The coordinate system, if confirmed,...
  • Fat Factors

    08/13/2006 11:49:02 AM PDT · by neverdem · 51 replies · 1,959+ views
    The Nefarious NY Times ^ | August 13, 2006 | ROBIN MARANTZ HENIG
    In the 30-plus years that Richard Atkinson has been studying obesity, he has always maintained that overeating doesn’t really explain it all. His epiphany came early in his career, when he was a medical fellow at U.C.L.A. engaged in a study of people who weighed more than 300 pounds and had come in for obesity surgery. “The general thought at the time was that fat people ate too much,” Atkinson, now at Virginia Commonwealth University, told me recently. “And we documented that fat people do eat too much — our subjects ate an average of 6,700 calories a day. But...
  • Another source of genetic variability mapped

    08/12/2006 8:23:15 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies · 522+ views
    news@nature.com ^ | 10 August 2006 | Richard Van Noorden
    Close window Published online: 10 August 2006; | doi:10.1038/news060807-15 Another source of genetic variability mapped Researchers chart out insertions and deletions in the genome.Richard Van NoordenThe way that some pieces of DNA are chopped and changed within individual genomes has been mapped for the first time. The catalogue of insertions and deletions in the human genome could eventually help scientists to find treatments for diseases, tailored to the genetic makeup of individuals. We share some 97 to 99% of our DNA in common. The remaining 1 to 3% in the 'book of life', the human genome, reads differently in...
  • Attractive Parents Have More Daughters (sic!) JUNK SCIENCE ALERT!!

    08/03/2006 5:04:29 PM PDT · by GaryL · 41 replies · 894+ views
    Telegraph.com ^ | 8/3/2006 | Unnamed
    Beautiful people not only seem to get richer, live longer and float through life with greater ease than the less visually blessed, they are also changing the face of the world. Researchers have established that very attractive people are 36 per cent more likely to have daughters than sons and that the world's females are becoming better-looking than men as a result. The report, from the London School of Economics, may provide an insight into the biological forces that lead the most striking people to produce first-born daughters. It postulates that differing "evolutionary strategies" lead parents to produce the sex...
  • The Quest for the $1,000 Human Genome

    07/17/2006 9:51:24 PM PDT · by neverdem · 17 replies · 503+ views
    NY Terrorist Tip Sheet ^ | July 18, 2006 | NICHOLAS WADE
    As part of an intensive effort to develop a new generation of machines that will sequence DNA at a vastly reduced cost, scientists are decoding a new human genome — that of James D. Watson, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA and the first director of the National Institutes of Health’s human genome project. Decoding a person’s genome is at present far too costly to be a feasible medical procedure. But the goal now being pursued by the N.I.H. and by several manufacturers, including the company decoding Dr. Watson’s DNA, is to drive the costs of decoding a human...
  • A Tale of Two Drugs Hints at Promise for Genetic Testing

    07/10/2006 9:47:05 PM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies · 289+ views
    The Perfidious NY Times ^ | July 11, 2006 | GINA KOLATA
    A decade or so ago, when the revolution in genetics was getting under way, the air was heady with promises. Gene tests, scientists predicted, would become an integral part of drug prescribing. No longer would patients find out too late that a drug did not work for them. No longer would they have to wait to see if they had side effects to one drug before switching to another. Tests of their genes would make all of this clear. But with the exception of a few tests for genes on certain cancer cells, the genetics revolution has not yet happened....
  • The DNA Age - That Wild Streak? Maybe It Runs in the Family

    06/15/2006 4:05:37 PM PDT · by 68skylark · 13 replies · 421+ views
    New York Times ^ | June 15, 2006 | AMY HARMON
    Jason Dallas used to think of his daredevil streak — a love of backcountry skiing, mountain bikes and fast vehicles — as "a personality thing." Then he heard that scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle had linked risk-taking behavior in mice to a gene. Those without it pranced unprotected along a steel beam instead of huddling in safety like the other mice. Now Mr. Dallas, a chef in Seattle, is convinced he has a genetic predisposition for risk-taking, a conclusion the researchers say is not unwarranted, since they believe similar variations in human genes can explain...
  • Mice Deaths Are Setback in Gene Test

    05/29/2006 10:45:01 PM PDT · by neverdem · 25 replies · 829+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 25, 2006 | ANDREW POLLACK
    A large number of mice died unexpectedly in a test of a new technique for inactivating genes that has been widely proclaimed a breakthrough, scientists are reporting today. The finding could give rise to new caution about the technique, called RNA interference, which is already widely used in laboratory experiments and is starting to be tested in people as a means of treating diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. But Dr. Mark A. Kay and colleagues at the Stanford University School of Medicine report today in the journal Nature that the technique, also called RNAi for short, caused...
  • Sperm Donor Seen as Source of Disease in 5 Children

    05/19/2006 6:51:12 PM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies · 440+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 19, 2006 | DENISE GRADY
    A sperm donor in Michigan passed a rare and serious genetic disease to five children born to four couples, doctors are reporting today. The doctor who discovered the cases said that all four couples were clients of the same sperm bank. That bank, the doctor added, assured him that it had discarded its remaining samples from the man and had told him he could no longer be a donor. It is not known how many children the donor had fathered, whether he knew he carried the disease before he donated sperm, or whether the bank had informed him of his...
  • Studies Find Elusive Key to Cell Fate in Embryo

    04/24/2006 9:18:43 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies · 1,400+ views
    NY Times ^ | April 25, 2006 | NICHOLAS WADE
    For three billion years, life on earth consisted of single-celled organisms like bacteria or algae. Only 600 million years ago did evolution hit on a system for making multicellular organisms like animals and plants. The key to the system is to give the cells that make up an organism a variety of different identities so that they can perform many different roles. So even though all the cells carry the same genome, each type of cell must be granted access to only a few of the genes in the genome, with all the others permanently denied to it. People, for...
  • Schizophrenia as Misstep by Giant Gene

    04/17/2006 8:06:10 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies · 431+ views
    NY Times ^ | April 18, 2006 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Researchers have made progress in understanding how a variant gene linked to schizophrenia may exert its influence in the brain. The findings are tentative but, if confirmed, could yield deep insights into the biological basis of the disease. The gene, called neuregulin-1, was first implicated in schizophrenia in 2002 by DeCode Genetics, a Reykjavik company that looks for the genetic roots of common diseases... But how the variant form of the gene contributed to the disease was far from clear, in part because even the normal gene's function is far from understood. A team led by Amanda J. Law of...
  • A Hunt for Genes That Betrayed a Desert People

    03/22/2006 12:37:23 AM PST · by neverdem · 11 replies · 1,825+ views
    NY Times ^ | March 21, 2006 | DINA KRAFT
    HURA, Israel — In a sky blue bedroom they share but rarely leave, a young sister and brother lie in twin beds that swallow up their small motionless bodies, victims of a genetic disease so rare it does not even have a name. Moshira, 9, and Salame, 8, who began life as apparently healthy babies, fell into vegetative states after their first birthdays. Now their dark eyes stare enormous and uncomprehending into the stillness of their room. The silence is broken only by the boy's sputtering breaths and the flopping noise his sister's atrophied legs make when they fall, like...
  • Scientists Sort Through 'Junk' to Unravel a Genetic Mystery

    02/06/2006 8:47:48 PM PST · by neverdem · 15 replies · 880+ views
    NY Times ^ | February 7, 2006 | ELIZABETH SVOBODA
    In 1965, when her 10-month-old son, David, started having seizures, Joan Stokes's excitement at being a first-time mother gave way to terror. "I couldn't imagine what was wrong," she said. The pediatrician was equally baffled. David's condition was not a result of a bacterial infection — it failed to respond to antibiotics — and tests for an array of common genetic disorders came back negative. It was not until Ms. Stokes began discussing David's illness with her mother, her cousins and other relatives that she realized she belonged to a seemingly cursed lineage. "I had a brother that died in...
  • If New York's Irish Claim Nobility, Science May Back Up the Blarney

    01/17/2006 9:53:58 PM PST · by neverdem · 22 replies · 661+ views
    NY Times ^ | January 18, 2006 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Listen more kindly to the New York Irishmen who assure you that the blood of early Irish kings flows in their veins. At least 2 percent of the time, they are telling the truth, according to a new genetic survey. The survey not only bolsters the bragging rights of some Irishmen claiming a proud heritage but also provides evidence of the existence of Niall of the Nine Hostages, an Irish high king of the fifth century A.D. regarded by some historians as more legend than real. The survey shows that 20 percent of men in northwestern Ireland carry a distinctive...