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09 Nov

Genetics and Life Span

Your genetic makeup may not have much impact on how long you live.

Health News Results - 195

FRIDAY, May 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cases in which a newborn's genitals make it unclear whether the child is a boy or girl may be more common than once believed, researchers say.

One example of what's known as ambiguous genitalia is a baby girl with an enlarged clitoris that looks more like a small penis, the study authors explained.

In some cases, infants have external ...

THURSDAY, May 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An easy-to-use, noninvasive device can detect early signs of the cancer complication known as lymphedema, a new study reports.

Lymphedema is the buildup of fluid in the body's tissues when a part of the lymph system is damaged, as can happen in cancer care, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The fluid causes swelli...

WEDNESDAY, May 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common cause of infertility and type 2 diabetes, but little is known about its origins. Now, new research suggests a gene involved in male hormone production plays a big role in the disorder's development.

"We're starting to make headway on what causes PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome]. It's very frustrating for...

THURSDAY, April 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As obesity becomes epidemic among Americans, many could over- or underestimate their odds for piling on the pounds. But a new genetic "score" might take the guesswork out of all of that, researchers say.

Using information on more than 2 million gene variants linked to body weight, the scientists created a so-called polygenic score that ma...

THURSDAY, April 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Poverty may influence how genes function, researchers report.

Specifically, they found that poverty is associated with levels of DNA methylation -- which can shape gene expression -- in nearly 10% of genes.

The findings are significant for a number of reasons, the researchers said.

"First, we have known for a long ti...

THURSDAY, April 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but it might also be tucked away in a handful of genes.

Using genetic information on nearly 4,400 white adults, researchers found that certain genetic mutations were tied to people's beauty ratings from their peers.

Genes were linked to both women's and men's ratings -- but there were differen...

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Kristen Criss' father died of complications from a stroke, her mother died from a heart condition at age 40 and her sister passed away at 33.

Still, it would be many years -- and health struggles of her own -- before she realized the full meaning of having a family history of heart disease.

Criss discovered in 201...

THURSDAY, March 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Jo Cameron, 71, has lived a life without pain.

The Scottish woman has experienced childbirth, broken limbs, cuts, burns and surgeries with little or no discomfort. She's leaned on her own hot stove and not realized there's a problem until she smelled something burning.

"I'm vegan, so the smell is pretty obvious," the former school...

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People whose high cholesterol is resistant to treatment with statin drugs may soon have a new treatment option.

This new class of drugs helps block synthesis of artery-clogging cholesterol, researchers explained. The drugs target an enzyme called ATP citrate lyase (ACL), part of the production pathway for "bad" LDL cholesterol in the body.

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's one of the toughest cancers to beat. But new research suggests that identifying the genetics of pancreatic cancer in individual patients could boost survival for some.

The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients is less than 9 percent. One reason this cancer is so deadly is that many patients are diagnosed at a late sta...

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A grandparent's mental decline or a great uncle's waning memory may indicate you, too, have greater risk for Alzheimer's disease -- especially if closer relatives have the condition, a new study says.

Alzheimer's in both a first-degree relative (parents, siblings) and a second-degree relative (grandparent, aunt, uncle, nieces or nephews) ...

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The controversy over a Chinese scientist who claimed he created gene-edited babies has prompted the U.S. National Institutes of Health to join an international moratorium on such research.

"Today, leading scientists and ethicists from seven countries have called for an international moratorium on the use of genetic editing to modify the hu...

TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women who get pregnant when using certain contraceptives might have their genes to blame, a new study suggests.

A gene variant that breaks down hormones in birth control could be the culprit, researchers reported.

"When a woman says she got pregnant while on birth control, the assumption was always that it was somehow her fault," s...

TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Two chemicals found in household products and food could harm male fertility in both dogs and people, U.K. researchers say.

The chemicals are the plasticizer DEHP -- used in products such as carpets, flooring, upholstery, clothes, wires and toys -- and the industrial chemical polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (PCB153). Even though it is banned wo...

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- High testosterone levels can drastically increase a man's risk of heart failure and stroke-causing blood clots, a new study reports.

Men with a genetic predisposition to high testosterone levels have a nearly eightfold increased risk of heart failure and twice the risk of thromboembolism (blood clots that can block veins or arteries leading ...

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The largest study to date of the genetic underpinnings of Alzheimer's has uncovered five new gene mutations that make people more vulnerable to the memory-robbing disease.

The international team of scientists analyzed the DNA of more than 94,000 people collected by the four groups that make up the International Genomic Alzheimer's Project.

...

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Your long-term happiness in marriage may hinge on the genes you and your partner bring to the union.

A Yale University study suggests marital bliss could be influenced by a genetic variation that affects oxytocin, the so-called "love hormone" that is involved in social bonding.

"This study shows that how we feel in our close relation...

THURSDAY, Feb. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- They are among the rarest types of human beings -- so-called "semi-identical" twins.

Now, doctors in Australia say they've identified the world's second known set of these twins, born from an egg fertilized by two sperm.

Semi-identical twins (sesquizygotic) are classed as a third type of twin, in addition to identical and fraternal...

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Melanoma patients who are recent and current smokers have lower survival rates than nonsmokers, suggesting that smoking may weaken immune response to the most deadly skin cancer, researchers say.

In a study of more than 700 melanoma patients in the United Kingdom, smokers were 40 percent less likely to survive melanoma than people who hadn't ...

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Can't sleep at night? Perhaps genetics is to blame.

In a new study, dozens of gene regions linked to insomnia have been pinpointed, and researchers also report a link between insomnia and heart disease.

American and British investigators analyzed data from more than 450,000 people in the United Kingdom -- 29 percent of whom reported...

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have specific mutations in genes known as BRCA are at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Now, an influential expert panel reaffirms that certain women should be screened for the genes.

The draft recommendation comes from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, whose advisories often guide physician practice and insuranc...

MONDAY, Feb. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A large, new study has uncovered 24 genetic variations that help separate the apple-shaped people from the pear-shaped ones.

Researchers said the findings help explain why some people are prone to carrying any excess weight around the belly. But more importantly, they could eventually shed light on the biology of diseases linked to obesity -- ...

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Binge and heavy drinking may trigger DNA changes that make your booze cravings worse, a new study says.

"We found that people who drink heavily may be changing their DNA in a way that makes them crave alcohol even more," said senior study author Dipak Sarkar. He directs the endocrine program in the School of Environmental and Biological Scienc...

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The supply of donor organs for infants needing a heart transplant is critically low, but researchers have taken a first step toward using pig hearts to fill the need.

The concept of using animal organs to save human lives has been around for years. With donor organs in short supply, the hope is that animal organs can keep patients alive while ...

FRIDAY, Jan. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists who assembled the genome of a salamander renowned for its ability to regenerate body parts say the achievement could be an important step toward finding ways to regrow human body parts.

The axolotl is a salamander whose only native habitat is a lake near Mexico City.

"It's hard to find a body part they can't regenerate: th...

THURSDAY, Jan. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- While some people fight the "battle of the bulge" for a lifetime, others seem to effortlessly stay slim. And now scientists say it all boils down to genetics.

Certain DNA helps decide whether weight gain is a torment or not for people, British researchers report.

"It's easy to rush to judgment and criticize people for their weight,...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The most potent drug available for Parkinson's disease, levodopa, treats symptoms of the disease but does nothing to either ease or increase its still-mysterious underlying causes, a new clinical trial has concluded.

Doctors often delay prescribing levodopa, or L-dopa, to Parkinson's patients for fear that the drug might have toxic effects th...

FRIDAY, Jan. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Do you shy away from risky business or cast caution aside and go for it?

Either way, your answer could come from your DNA.

Scientists have identified more than 100 genetic variants linked with risk-taking, according to a groundbreaking new study.

"Genetic variants that are associated with overall risk tolerance -- a measu...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The most common genetic disorder among northern Europeans -- called hemochromatosis -- occurs more often than previously thought, according to a new study.

The researchers also found that people with the condition often develop serious health problems.

People with hemochromatosis -- a build-up of iron in the body that can damage t...

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Two of every five common diseases are at least partially influenced by a person's genetics, the largest U.S. study of twins ever conducted finds.

Nearly 40 percent of 560 different diseases have a genetic component, while 25 percent are driven by environmental factors shared by twins who are growing up in the same household, the researchers re...

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Your chances of inheriting genes linked to longevity are highest if you come from a family with many long-lived members, researchers say.

And that includes aunts and uncles, not just parents.

Using databases at the University of Utah and in the Dutch province of Zeeland, investigators analyzed the genealogies of nearly 315,000 people...

FRIDAY, Jan. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A program that maps out the genes of newborns has allowed researchers to identify risks for some inherited childhood conditions, many of which can be prevented.

The so-called BabySeq Project discovered that slightly more than 9 percent of infants carry genes that put them at risk for medical conditions as they reach childhood.

"The Ba...

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- New research shows that marijuana causes genetic changes in sperm, though it's not clear what effect those changes have, or if they're passed on to a man's children.

But the scientists said their findings suggest that men trying to have children should consider avoiding marijuana.

In experiments with rats and a study involving 24 ...

TUESDAY, Dec. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they've identified genetic mutations linked with a blood vessel defect that can lead to deadly brain bleeds in babies.

A rare hereditary condition, called vein of Galen malformation, causes high-pressured blood to be pumped from arteries into veins. The veins aren't meant to handle such pressure and can rupture, spilling blood...

MONDAY, Dec. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Lots of Americans will unwrap a scarf or sweater this holiday season. But a growing number will receive a gift that's potentially life-changing: an at-home genetic testing kit.

Home DNA testing yields clues to ancestry and, potentially, genetic risk for medical conditions. But there are a number of things you need to know before you use one of...

THURSDAY, Dec. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say a massive genetic analysis of the human brain has yielded new insights into the underpinnings of psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism.

Scientists at 15 institutions analyzed nearly 2,000 brains, and their findings are detailed in 11 studies published Dec. 14 in a special edition of Scienc...

MONDAY, Dec. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are so closely linked that they not only run in families, but each increases the risk of the other in future siblings, a new study finds.

Younger siblings of children with autism have a 30-fold increased relative risk they'll be diagnosed with autism themselves. They're also nearly fou...

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental gene therapy for Parkinson's disease seems to work by rewiring key areas of the brain, a new study finds.

The researchers focused on 15 Parkinson's patients who, in an earlier trial, had received so-called GAD gene therapy. GAD is an enzyme that spurs the production of a brain chemical involved in movement control.

MONDAY, Nov. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of American kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have a genetic vulnerability to the disease, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 55,000 individuals and identified 12 gene regions linked with ADHD. These regions probably affect the central nervous system, the study authors said. The...

THURSDAY, Nov. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Coffee's bitter taste shouldn't be a selling point. But a genetic variant explains why so many people love the brew, a new study suggests.

Bitterness evolved as a natural warning system to protect people from harmful substances. That means they should want to spit out coffee, the researchers said.

But their study of more than 400,0...

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Home pregnancy tests are commonplace, but that doesn't mean that every type of self-test for health issues is reliable.

And even if results are accurate, you shouldn't forgo getting advice from your health-care provider, especially if the condition is life-changing and requires very targeted treatment.

Some kits that let you test a...

TUESDAY, Nov. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Kids with summer birthdays, especially those who spend long hours playing on smartphones and tablets, might be at greater risk for vision problems, a new study suggests.

Nearsightedness, also called myopia, is on the rise worldwide. It's what eye doctors call a refractive error, meaning the eyes can't focus light properly. The result: Close ob...

TUESDAY, Nov. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Your life partner has a much greater influence on your longevity than the genes you inherited from your family, according to a new analysis of the family trees of more than 400 million people.

"While it is a widely held belief that life span heritability ranges from approximately 15 to 30 percent, the findings discussed in this paper demonstra...

FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Athletes may be less likely to suffer concussions if they carry a gene linked to the learning disorder dyslexia, a new study suggests.

Researchers looked at the concussion history of 87 football players at Penn State University. They also checked the players for certain genes.

The findings suggest that "genotype may play a role in yo...

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Has stroke hit your family particularly hard? A healthy lifestyle may be your best defense, new research shows.

The study of more than 306,000 white British people found that exercising, eating right and not smoking lowered stroke risk -- even for those whose DNA predisposed them to the attacks.

The findings "highlight the pote...

MONDAY, Oct. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In some bad news for chocolate Labrador Retriever lovers everywhere, new research shows that they have shorter life spans than their black and yellow cousins.

Not only that, but they also have higher rates of skin disease and ear infections.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 33,000 Labradors in the United Kingd...

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The number of genes known to be associated with autism now stands at 102, researchers report.

They also said that they've made significant progress in distinguishing between genes associated with autism and those associated with intellectual disability and developmental delay, conditions that often overlap with autism.

The analysi...

THURSDAY, Oct. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Although many people suffering from painful gout flare-ups point to diet as the culprit, new research suggests DNA plays a much bigger role.

The findings challenge the long-held belief that diet is the major factor in gout, a joint disease that causes extreme pain and swelling. Gout is caused by hyperuricemia -- high blood levels of uric aci...

TUESDAY, Oct. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- It's not always easy -- even for doctors -- to tell if someone has type 1 or type 2 diabetes when they're diagnosed as an adult.

And a new study finds mistakes are common.

That's what happened to British Prime Minister Theresa May when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2012. She was in her 50s at the time. Despite having all...

MONDAY, Oct. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists report they have uncovered the first evidence that erectile dysfunction may have genetic underpinnings.

In the study, the researchers analyzed data from hundreds of thousands of men. The investigators found gene variations in a specific spot in the human genome near the SIM1 gene that are significantly ass...

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Wellness Library Results - 4

Just by coincidence, I usually see my breast surgeon in October, National Breast Cancer Awareness month, but I saw her early this year because she's on maternity leave again. After my visit, I ran into a friend. When I told her where I was, she suddenly looked alarmed. "I didn't know you had breast ... problems," she said, concerned. "I don't!" I jumped to reassure her. Then I was suddenly tongue...

Every new child is full of surprises. You expect him to look and act like other members of the family, but you never know exactly how his genes will fall together. He could have mom's eyes and dad's hair, but it could just as easily be the other way around. Unfortunately, his genes could also carry the blueprint for a serious disease. If you're pregnant or thinking about starting a family, geneti...

Some girls are born with a genetic condition known as Turner Syndrome, which causes a group of related symptoms including short stature, late sexual development, and infertility. First recognized in 1938 by a doctor named Henry Turner, the condition occurs when one of the two X chromosomes is either missing or abnormal, with some genetic material missing. Turner Syndrome is relatively common, oc...

What is Prader-Willi Syndrome? Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), which was named for the two doctors who first identified it, is a complex genetic disorder that causes short stature, weak muscle tone, incomplete sexual development, and obesity, as well as cognitive disabilities and behavior problems. About one in 15,000 babies inherits the genetic abnormality that causes Prader-Willi Syndrome. DNA t...

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