Genetic Future

Archives for December, 2008

I posted last week on a paper purporting to identify a genetic variant influencing the placebo response. The main message of my post was that given the terrible history of small candidate gene association studies, a paper describing an association with a sample size of just 25 individuals should be simply ignored – and certainly…

Brain doping: academics say yes

A commentary in Nature by a group of psychologists, ethicists and neuroscientists has a controversial message: Based on our considerations, we call for a presumption that mentally competent adults should be able to engage in cognitive enhancement using drugs. [their emphasis] The authors call for a rejection of the common knee-jerk notion that cognitive enhancement…

A few days ago I posted a picture depicting the genetic ancestry of African-Americans modelled as a linear combination of European and Nigerian genetic clusters (reproduced below). Dienekes has some thoughtful comments on the same picture. Meanwhile, Razib comments on a post from Ed Yong discussing the social flexibility of race. Ed cites a survey…

Nature Genetics has just released six advance online manuscripts on the genetic architecture of complex metabolic traits. The amount of data in the manuscripts is overwhelming, so this post is really just a first impression; I suspect I’ll have more to say once I’ve had time to dig into the juicy marrow of the supplementary…

In my previous post on Finnish population clustering I should have emphasised that the map was constructed only from individuals who had both parents from the same geographic/linguistic region; this obviously provides a lot more power to detect a correlation. The close match between genetic and geographic ancestry in these selected individuals indicates that there…

Personal genomics company 23andMe is now offering a discount of $200 for customers who buy three or more kits before December 31st. In a press release the company explains the reasoning behind the price cut: By offering this discount, 23andMe hopes to encourage families, in particular, to explore the unique features of the 23andMe Personal…

Genetics and geography in Finland

Here’s a figure from a brand new paper on the genetics of metabolic traits in a large Finnish cohort (which I’ll be posting about in more detail shortly): On the left is a map of the counties the samples were collected from, colour-coded by geographical/linguistic group; on the right is the genetic clustering of the…

Think Gene’s Andrew Yates has posted generic responses for medical professionals to use when dealing with patients who come armed with their results from 23andMe or Navigenics. They’re probably quite useful little tools for busy doctors without the time to brush up on the field of personal genomics, but – seeing as this is Andrew…

I was planning to write a long article on this recent paper in PLoS Genetics, but p-ter at Gene Expression and G at Popgen ramblings have both covered the central message very well. So if you haven’t read those articles, already, go and do so now – when you come back, I want to talk…

I’m in the middle of a longer post on a recent paper on the effects of genetics on gene expression differences in African-Americans, which has also been well-covered by p-ter at Gene Expression. I wanted to post this section separately to avoid detracting from the issues in that post. This figure will not provide any…