23andMe Aims to Use Genetic Data to Develop Drugs

In a big shift of focus, the personal genomics company 23andMe recently announced the creation of a new therapeutics group with the intention of developing new therapies for both common and rare diseases.


Most Risk for Autism Comes from Common Genetic Variation, Not Rare Genes

Most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have found. Heritability also outweighed other risk factors in this largest study of its kind to date.

Genetic risk autism

Using Big Data Analytics to Predict Metabolic Syndrome

A new study by Aetna’s Innovation Labs and GNS Healthcare uses “big data” analytics to predict patients at risk for metabolic syndrome. Their results show that lowering waist size and blood glucose have the largest health benefits and cause the biggest reduction in medical costs. Regular doctor visits and medication adherence reduces the one-year probability of having metabolic syndrome in nearly 90% of people.

Big data analytics predict patients at risk

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

Supplemental Vitamin E and A, Worth The Risk?

Perhaps among the most confusing of nutrition and wellness decisions that the average consumer must make is whether to take dietary supplements. The available information is deeply contradictory; while some supplements — like folic acid for pregnant women and vitamin D for babies — are considered nearly essential in medical care, research suggests that other supplements may be ineffective or even deleterious to health. A recent research summary published in The Medical Letter On Drugs and Therapeutics may help consumers and practitioners to wade through the conflicting information on supplements, as many supplements have both risks and benefits associated with their use [1].

Vitamins E and A