The Science of Sustainability

Tag: gene

Redesigning Life

Redesigning Life

All living things pretty much use the same language to read their genes. That is about to change.

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Patient-Specific DNA Sequencing Finally Paying Off

Patient-Specific DNA Sequencing Finally Paying Off

Here Dr. Starr talks about three patients who have dramatically improved lives because scientists sequenced their DNA and correctly interpreted the results. The dream of helping individual patients using data from the human genome project is finally being realized.

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Dominant isn't Always Common

Dominant isn't Always Common

A common genetic misconception is that dominant means common. Here Dr. Starr explains why dominant and recessive doesn't matter for how common a trait is.

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Making Bisexual Mice

Making Bisexual Mice

Serotonin plays a big role in sexual preference in mice. Maybe it plays a big role in people too.

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Missing Gene Suggests Rodents Aren't The Best Model For Diabetes Research

Missing Gene Suggests Rodents Aren't The Best Model For Diabetes Research

Rodents and other mammals might not be ideal for studying type 2 diabetes because of a gene that was deleted from the human genome millions of years ago.

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Redwood Regeneration

Redwood Regeneration

QUEST has an inordinate fondness for albino redwoods. But after producing three videos, QUEST Producer Chris Bauer still had questions.

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Who's Your Daddy?

Who's Your Daddy?

What became clear to me at a recent meeting I attended is that most everyone is going to have his or her DNA read in the near future. Another thing that became obvious is that scientists aren’t doing enough thinking about what impact this will have on society.

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Milky Mutations

Milky Mutations

Lactose intolerance is the norm for mammals. Humans are one of the few animals where a sizable minority of adults are lactose tolerant.

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More Transparent Genetic Testing

More Transparent Genetic Testing

A few minor tweaks to genetic testing companies' websites could make their offerings more transparent to the public and the FDA.

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Direct to consumer (DTC) genetic tests: Here Comes the FDA

Direct to consumer (DTC) genetic tests: Here Comes the FDA

Direct to consumer (DTC) genetic tests are taking a beating right now from the FDA. Part of the problem has to do with some snake oil salesmen contaminating the whole field. But part of it has to do with the data that is available right now and how it is presented.

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Here Comes the FDA

Here Comes the FDA

Over the last few years, a bunch of companies have sprouted up that offer genetic testing over the Internet. The most controversial of these are the ones that offer consumers the chance to predict their future health risks.

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A Catch-23

A Catch-23

If the FDA wants to regulate consumer genetic testing companies, there is no way that they will be able to make a profit.

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Go To College, Get A Genetic Test

Go To College, Get A Genetic Test

UC Berkeley has decided to offer its 5500 incoming freshmen of the College of Letters and Sciences the chance at a free genetic test. And all hell has broken loose.

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What if the Geneticists are Wrong?

What if the Geneticists are Wrong?

What if most people or families had unique DNA differences that led to their disease? Then scientists have been going about finding the causes of genetic disease in the wrong way.

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Finding Fifth Cousins

Finding Fifth Cousins

Someone contacted me via 23andMe and said that we may be fifth cousins and asked if I would like to compare genomes. Ok I thought, why not?

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23andMe: Not Just for Fun Anymore

23andMe: Not Just for Fun Anymore

23andMe has gone away from being a place where you get your DNA tested for coolness’ sake to one with a focus on health and/or ancestry.  With this change has come a much-improved product for people interested in what their DNA tells them about their carrier status for a variety of genetic diseases.

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The Wild, Wild Web

The Wild, Wild Web

I have often thought that the percentage of good scientific information on the web must be pretty low. So I decided to test the idea out on a question I was recently working on.

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Careful What You Choose

Careful What You Choose

People often think about certain versions of a gene as either good or bad. One that leads to depression is bad while one that protects you from HIV infection is good. For most genes this is almost certainly too simplistic a view. Many versions of genes can be good or bad depending on your situation.

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Using Genetics to Pick Your Kids' Sports

Using Genetics to Pick Your Kids' Sports

A genetic test is available that claims to be able to help parents predict what sports their kids will be good at. The idea is that the parents can then funnel their kids into the sports at which they are most likely to succeed. How scary is that!

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Your Cheatin' Genes

Your Cheatin' Genes

A new study suggests that having a certain version of a certain vasopressin receptor gene makes a man less likely to cheat on his partner.

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