The Science of Sustainability

Tag: genetics

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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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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Those Marvelous Mitochondria

Those Marvelous Mitochondria

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. […]

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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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Curing AIDS with a Bone Marrow Transplant

Curing AIDS with a Bone Marrow Transplant

Doctors announced in Berlin that a man who received a bone marrow transplant for leukemia was now also free of his HIV infection.

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Mammoth Resurrection

Mammoth Resurrection

I had always thought that bringing back an extinct animal like the mammoth was impossible using today's techniques. I may have been wrong.

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Safer Prenatal Testing

Safer Prenatal Testing

A new study out from Stanford (yay Stanford!) promises to revolutionize prenatal testing. Instead of looking at a fetus’ cells, the test looks at mom’s blood. More specifically, it looks at the small amounts of fetal DNA found in her blood.

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