The Science of Sustainability

Tag: genetics

22andHim

22andHim

A doctor from China contacted me through this blog with some exciting news.  He had found a patient with 44 chromosomes instead of the usual 46

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Beware Helicopter Parents

Beware Helicopter Parents

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.

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Trick or Trait

Trick or Trait

"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 […]

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Science Event Pick: Experimenting with Yourself

Science Event Pick: Experimenting with Yourself

David experimenting with EEGLoyal KQED blog followers have been reading of Dr. Barry Starr’s experience getting his genes tested by 23andMe. He has tested his native American ancestry and evaluated his risk for diabetes. What if Barry took even more tests, from blood toxins to more genetic tests – would that result in a clearer […]

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Do These Genes Make Me Look Diabetic?

Do These Genes Make Me Look Diabetic?

A couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Right when I am in the middle of talking about genetic testing!

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Toward Greener Biofuels and Greener Cars

Toward Greener Biofuels and Greener Cars

For all the excitement, selling the American public on biofuels feels a little like feeding methadone to a heroin addict.

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Genetic Tests: When No Means Maybe (Part 2)

Genetic Tests: When No Means Maybe (Part 2)

In my last blog post, I showed how the two most powerful ancestry tests, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome, were useless to me in my hunt. Now I want look at the rest of my DNA. So here we go!

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Genetic Tests: When No Means Maybe (Part 1)

Genetic Tests: When No Means Maybe (Part 1)

Genetic tests often don’t give as much information as you might think.

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Reporter's Notes: Personalized Medicine

Reporter's Notes: Personalized Medicine

You've probably heard about some of the breakthroughs in personal genome sequencing, where companies take a look at your DNA and send back your risk profile. But there's a flip side to all this genetic research that doesn't have to do with risk: personalized medicine.

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Decoding Synthetic Biology

Decoding Synthetic Biology

Imagine living cells acting as memory devices; biofuels brewing from yeast, or a light receptor taken from algae that makes photographs on a plate of bacteria. With the new science of synthetic biology, the goal is to make biology easier to engineer so that new functions can be derived from living systems.

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Taking the Plunge: Diving Into my DNA

Taking the Plunge: Diving Into my DNA

Well, I have finally decided to do it. I have ponied up the money and signed up for 23andMe's DNA test.

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Risky Business: Genes Just Part of the Story

Risky Business: Genes Just Part of the Story

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 […]

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Using Mice to Understand Human Speech

Using Mice to Understand Human Speech

Scientists have started to look at DNA to try to figure out why we can speak and other animals can't. One gene that has caught their attention is called FOXP2.

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Tracking Genetics in Popular Culture

Tracking Genetics in Popular Culture

In the last couple of weeks, on another blog of mine there has been a surge in our answers about genetic chimeras. Usually this means that somewhere in the world, a certain episode of CSI is being shown.

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Designer Babies

Designer Babies

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.

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Why Human Cloning Shouldn't be a Big Worry

Why Human Cloning Shouldn't be a Big Worry

President Obama lifted the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research last Monday. Many researchers breathed a sigh of relief as they could finally get to work using these cells to find treatments and even cures for many debilitating diseases and injuries.

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Predicting Fossil Finds

Predicting Fossil Finds

Scientists used evolutionary theory to figure out where to find the bones of this fishibian. Lately I have been reading Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. And so far it is a fascinating read. What is so great about this book for a scientist is that it gives the big picture on evolution. This sort […]

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Producer's Notes: Chasing Beetles, Finding Darwin

Producer's Notes: Chasing Beetles, Finding Darwin

Today QUEST TV broadcasts its half-hour documentary "Chasing Beetles, Finding Darwin," which tells the story of California Academy of Sciences beetle expert David Kavanaugh's unusual prediction that a new species of beetle would be found in Northern California's Trinity Alps.

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Gorilla Cough

Gorilla Cough

Forgive me for being Gorilla-Crazy and writing yet another blog about these creatures, but anyone who has completed a gorilla trek understands the obsession and concern. One issue: We make them sick.

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A Long and Winding DNA

A Long and Winding DNA

How long would the DNA from every living thing on Earth stretch? Could we make it to the next star? The next galaxy? The end of the Universe?

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