Author: JoannaM

Stories on Every Branch of the Family Tree

Every family has its stories. We just don’t know them all. That’s where genealogy comes in. Through census and military records, notes in family bibles, or conversations with older relatives we can recover some of those family histories. But where memories and traditional paper records fail, we now have a new ...

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How Do People React to Personal Genetic Information? Themes From the American Society of Human Genetics Meeting

During his presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins was open about his genotype at the TCF7L2 marker associated with diabetes, noting that he has the “riskier” TT genotype.  Such openness about personal ...

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Lessons at Berkeley: Genetics and Beyond

Having been a genetics educator for over two decades, I was excited to learn in May that Berkeley’s incoming freshman class would have an opportunity to discover whether they have an AA, AG, or GG at a specific site near the LCT gene, along with similar information for the ALDH2 and MTHFR genes.  Time and ...

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The genetics of hunter-gatherer populations

The author during her time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya. As a Peace Corps volunteer teaching in Kenya 25 years ago, I was fascinated by the cultural, linguistic, and physical differences among the people of eastern Africa. One of our Kenyan trainers took us to a "boma" where his tall, ...

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23andMe’s New and Improved Maternal Haplogroups

It's springtime for 23andMe's Maternal Line tree! Each one of us can trace our ancestry back through our mother, our mother's mother, her mother, and so on. And there is one piece of our DNA that has been inherited along that exact, maternal line. By examining mutations in this segment of DNA, called ...

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23andKids: Growing Up Genotyped

Photo by Hsien-Hsien Lei, Eye on DNA. “Data, data, data! I want to see my data!” sang my 7-year-old, jumping around the kitchen, strumming his air guitar. What on earth was going through his mind? What did he think he’d get when he looked at his 23andMe data? We’ll probably never know, but, possibly ...

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