A couple of new studies confirm what many of us have feared: each of us is surprisingly unique genetically. This is to be feared because of the impact it will have on the future of personalized medicine.
Biology may have made it so that women prefer the smell of men with different immune systems from their own. Disturbingly, the pill may turn this on its head so that women like the way men with similar immune systems smell.
Time recently had a great article on helicopter parents. These are the parents who hover around their kids, protecting them from any harm. They are undoubtedly doing this to ensure their kids’ success in life. I don’t want to get into the plusses and minuses of this parenting style…to each his own. What I do want to do is to warn them away from a new genetic testing company that seems designed to target them.
Post on Dec 07, 2009 by Dr. Barry Starr
If a DNA testing company gets bought out, what happens to their customers' DNA? Image by Molly Eyres. / CC BY 2.0 One niggling worry I had when I decided to get some genetic testing from 23andMe was what would happen to my DNA if the company failed. By all accounts, 23andMe is a very [...]
Post on Nov 23, 2009 by Dr. Barry Starr
"Mysteries of DNA" image courtesy Mark H. Adams. Full-size version. As anyone who follows this blog knows, I recently took a 23andMe genetic test and have been blogging about it ever since. Today I thought I would focus on one of the fun parts of the service: traits. Lots of our traits are at least [...]
Post on Nov 09, 2009 by Dr. Barry Starr
What can genetic testing tell you? A while back I took a 23andMe genetic test that looks at over 600,000 different spots on my DNA. The last few blogs I have been going over my genetic test results with an eye on how useful they are. And how well the results are explained. Last blog [...]
Post on Oct 26, 2009 by Dr. Barry Starr
When talking about genetic pre-disposition to a condition, make sure you understand both the increased risk factor and the general risk.As the geneticist at the Ask a Geneticist blog, I get a lot of questions about diseases that run in the family. They usually run along the lines of, "My mother had diabetes, what is [...]
Post on Jul 06, 2009 by Dr. Barry Starr
A storm of protest broke out a month or so ago when a fertility clinic in Los Angeles announced it would start helping women choose what their babies might look like. The ruckus was loud enough that the clinic has since backed off on this service.
Post on Mar 30, 2009 by Dr. Barry Starr
This former free living bacterium now supplies our cells their energy.Current theories hold that life began on Earth around 3.5 billion years ago. About a billion years ago, a single celled beast engulfed and absorbed another single celled creature. We are all descended from that hijacking. The hijacked cell has over time become the mitochondrion. [...]
Post on Dec 22, 2008 by Dr. Barry Starr