Protein Overload May Kill Brain Cells as Parkinson’s Progresses

Scientists may have discovered how the most common genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease destroys brain cells and devastates many patients worldwide.

Nerve cells, ribosomal protein

Oncologists Have Mixed Attitudes on the Use of Genomic Testing

Predictive genomic testing has the potential to usher in an era of personalized cancer care for patients. However, a recent study finds that not all physicians are eager to embrace the technology.

Cancer genomic testing

Researchers Identify Genomic Variant Associated with Sun Sensitivity, Brown Hair, Blue Eyes and Freckles

Researchers have identified a genomic variant strongly associated with sensitivity to the sun, brown hair, blue eyes — and freckles. In the study of Icelanders the researchers uncovered an intricate pathway involving the interspersed DNA sequence, or non-coding region, of a gene that is among a few dozen that are associated with human pigmentation traits. The study by an international team including researchers from the National Institutes of Health was reported in the journal Cell [1].

Brown hair blue eyes freckles

Even Healthy People Carry Hundreds of Genetic Flaws

Nobody’s perfect, not even the healthiest among us. Scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Cardiff University have determined that, on average, a normal healthy person carries approximately 400 protein-damaging DNA mutations and two mutations directly linked with a high risk of disease. The research was published in the December 7th issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics [1].

Hundreds of DNA mutations

Gene that Influences When You Wake Also Predicts Time of Death

Researchers have identified a common gene variant that is responsible for a person’s tendency to be an early riser or a night owl. This common genetic variant also helps determine the time of day a person is most likely to die. The findings appear in the November 2012 issue of the Annals of Neurology.

Body clock