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A person's unrelated lookalike, commonly known as a doppelganger, may actually share genes that affect not only how they appear, but also their behavior.

In a new study, scientists did DNA analysis on 32 sets of virtual twins — people with strong facial similarities — and found they possessed similar genetic variants.

“Our study provides a rare insight into human likeness by...

More than 70 genes are very strongly associated with autism and more than 250 are linked to the condition, a major new genetic analysis has revealed.

The analysis is the largest of its kind to date, involving more than 150,000 participants, including 20,000 diagnosed with autism.

The researchers found t...

While the herpes virus that causes lip sores is common today, it has been difficult for scientists to find traces of it among ancient remains.

Now, researchers report they have uncovered and sequenced four ancient herpes virus

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 28, 2022
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  • A drug in development as a cancer therapy may also help the body regenerate damaged nerves after spinal injuries, new research suggests.

    Scientists at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom report that they used cell and animal models to show that the drug, dubbed

  • By Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 18, 2022
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  • A blood test could save some colon cancer patients from getting unnecessary chemotherapy following surgery, while making sure that those who would benefit from the treatment get it, researchers report.

    The circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) test looks for minute amounts of genetic material that are released by...

    After 30 years, researchers believe they finally have definitive evidence of the primary cause of Gulf War syndrome: exposure to low levels of the nerve gas sarin.

    Gulf War syndrome is blamed for leaving a quarter million veterans of the 1991 conflict with a disabling array of long-...

    For the past couple of centuries, humans have been breeding dogs to meet specific physical characteristics - to make Golden Retrievers fluffy, to make Rottweilers muscular, or to make Chihuahuas tiny.

    Dog enthusiasts...

    It's known that certain chronic health conditions up the odds of death from COVID-19. Now, new research identifies another risk factor.

    Shorter telomeres are associated with an increased likelihood of death from COVID-19, particularly in older women, researchers say.

    Telomeres are protective caps on the end of chromosomes (DNA) that shorten with age. Previous research has linked

    Genetic mutations build up faster in the brain cells of Alzheimer's disease patients than in other people, new research reveals.

    The discovery could point the way to new Alzheimer's treatments.

    DNA errors called

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 22, 2022
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  • The Human Genome Project produced the most complete map of human genetics ever assembled in 2003 - but that map still held many uncharted territories.

    It did not contain about 8% of the human genome, representing crucial regions and large gaps that have remained hidden from scientists.

    Now, an ambitious team of researchers has gone back and filled those empty spaces, assembling the ...

    Most gene variants that have been labeled "pathogenic" may make only a small difference in a person's risk of actually developing disease, a new study suggests.

    Scouring genetic data on more than 72,000 individuals,

    Your fingerprints may be more than a surefire way to identify you: New research suggests their patterns may be linked to genes that guide limb development.

    "People may wonder why our team is working on fingerprints," said co-senior study author Sijia Wang, a geneticist at the Shanghai Institute of Nutrition and Health in China. "We started the work purely out of curiosity. But later it tu...

    Take a whiff of the air in a zoo and you could breathe in the animals' DNA -- not just the smell of the food they eat or their waste, a new study suggests.

    Sampling the air from local zoos, two teams of researchers collected enough DNA to identify the animals nearby. They say their study could potentially become a valuable, noninvasive tool to track biodiversity.

    "Capturing airb...

    If you like your coffee black, it could be that your grandpa or your great-aunt did, too.

    A preference for black coffee and also for dark chocolate seems to lie in a person's genes, scientists report.

    It's not the taste that these individuals actually love, but it's because their genes enable them to metabolize

  • Cara Murez
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  • December 30, 2021
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  • Schizophrenia is a debilitating disease that can make navigating daily life a massive challenge, but a new blood test could flag it in its early stages, researchers say.

    Their analysis of blood samples identified epigenetic markers -- part of your DNA -- that differ between people with schizophrenia and those without the mental health disorder.

    The researchers developed a model to a...

    Dogs may be man's best friend, but cats may hold critical keys to humans' health.

    Our feline friends have the potential to become a valuable model for genetic research, because their genome is similar to that of people, according to Leslie Lyons of the Feline Genetics Laboratory at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

    "Using cats in research is really overlooked, since people don...

    Why do some people infected with SARS-CoV-2 have either no or negligible symptoms, while others sicken and die?

    Scientists who've pinpointed several genetic markers associated with severe COVID-19 say their findings could provide answers to that important question -- and targets for future treatments.

    The investigators spotted 13 locations in human DNA that are strongly associated w...

    There's no evidence of genetic damage in the children of parents who were exposed to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, researchers say.

    Several previous studies have examined the risks across generations of radiation exposure from events such as this, but have yielded inconclusive results.

    In this study, the investigators analyzed the genomes...

    Researchers have identified more than 140,000 viruses that live in the human gut, including half that were previously unknown.

    The number and variety of viruses found in more than 28,000 gut microbiome samples gathered from different parts of the world are surprisingly high, according to the study authors.

    The researchers added that their findings will lead to new research to learn ...

    Certain genetic factors in people with Down syndrome may increase their COVID-19 risks.

    Previous studies have found that people with Down syndrome are 10 times more likely to die from COVID-19, and experts have said they should be among those given priority for vaccination.

    In this new study, Spanish researchers examined genetic differences in people with Down syndrome that might af...

    What can poop from ancient Neanderthals tell us?

    It turns out that it harbors valuable information about modern-day gut health.

    An international research group led by the University of Bologna in Italy analyzed ancient DNA samples extracted from 50,000-year-old sedimentary feces, the oldest sample of fecal material available. They collected the matter in El Salt (Spain), a site wher...

    The microbes on your toothbrush mostly come from your mouth -- not your toilet -- and provide insight into your oral health, researchers say.

    Their study was inspired by people's concerns that flushing a toilet might create a cloud of aerosol particles that end up on toothbrushes and other bathroom surfaces.

    The researchers asked people to mail in their used toothbrushes so they cou...

    Biomarkers in sperm may help identify men at risk of fathering children with autism, researchers say.

    For the study, investigators examined sperm epigenetics -- the molecular processes that affect gene expression -- in 13 men who fathered sons with autism and 13 who had children without the disorder.

    The American and Spanish researchers focused specifically on DNA methylation, a che...

    While childhood obesity is a significant challenge, German researchers have uncovered some hopeful news while investigating the impact of genes.

    Though some "obesity genes" do play a minor role in the success of weight loss interventions, environmental, social and behavioral factors make the biggest difference, according to a new study from the Technical University of Munich.

    Those ...

    Results from a long-term study of a gene therapy technique to prevent inherited mitochondrial disease show promise, researchers say.

    Studies of the technique at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland show no adverse health effects in rhesus macaque monkeys and their offspring. The researchers said the technique could break the cycle of disease passed from mother to baby through mu...

    DNA mutations in skin cells may signal a risk for melanoma long before it's visible to the eye, a new study suggests.

    Exposure to sun damages skin and DNA, and this damage can be measured. Using a new method for analyzing DNA harm, researchers say they can estimate the risk of developing melanoma.

    "It turns out that a multitude of individual cells in so-called normal skin ...

    Although much of the genetic makeup of humans has been mapped, hundreds of missing DNA sequences remain.

    Until now.

    Scientists from the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute report they have produced the complete DNA sequence of a single human chromosome. That discovery could allow researchers to sequence the entire human genome.

    "This accomplishment begins...

    A simple blood test for dozens of cancers is in the works.

    Researchers say their test can detect more than 50 kinds of cancer at early stages and pinpoint their location in the body.

    "If these findings are validated, it will be feasible to consider how this test might be incorporated into a broader cancer screening strategy," said lead researcher Dr. Michael Seiden, preside...

    Genetic mutations that put some younger people at high risk for severe illness from the new coronavirus will be investigated in an international study.

    Plans call for enrolling 500 patients worldwide who are under age 50, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and admitted to an intensive care unit, and have no underlying health problems such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease.

    ...

    It has spread across the globe in just a few short months, sickening hundreds of thousands, but the new coronavirus has the dubious distinction of not really being a living organism, biologists say.

    "Viruses aren't considered alive -- in class, I call them pseudo-alive," said Eric Mendenhall, an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

    ...

    The racism black Americans face may age them prematurely, a new study suggests.

    This aging is occurring at the cellular level -- specifically, the shortening of telomeres, researchers say.

    Telomeres are the repetitive sequences of DNA that sit at the tips of your chromosomes -- like the plastic caps at the ends of a shoelace -- and help keep the chromosomes from fraying. <...

    Could the DNA from a patient's breast tumor help doctors spot whether stray cancer cells are still in her blood?

    That's what a small, new study suggests is possible. If the findings are replicated in a larger study, such a test might help determine whether a treatment is working or not. It also has the potential to reduce unnecessary additional treatments for breast cancer.

    ...

    You might think that stress affects you only emotionally or that a lack of sleep simply leaves you feeling cranky. But these are among the many lifestyle factors that can lead to health problems because of changes that they cause within your body's cells.

    Packed inside every cell is your DNA and its strands of chromosomes. Chromosomes are protected, top and bottom, by sections called ...

    For women, predicting when they'll reach menopause is anyone's guess. But if you want to get some foresight, you should ask your mother.

    For most women, menopause begins at around 52. But for thousands of women it starts much later, and for some, a lot earlier. Those whose menopause starts later may also be looking at a longer life expectancy, researchers have found.

    Smoking...

    Can a DNA test predict a person's future heart health? Perhaps, researchers say.

    A team of Canadian researchers found that by analyzing a person's entire genome, it might be possible to predict their future heart disease risk.

    The so-called "polygenic risk score" analysis looks for key heart disease indicators -- genetic "biomarkers" -- along with an individual's entire ge...

    When couples experience recurrent pregnancy loss, it's natural for them to want to know why. Now, a new study suggests that sperm DNA damage could be a factor.

    Recurrent pregnancy loss is defined as the consecutive loss of three or more pregnancies before 20 weeks' gestation. It affects up to 2 percent of couples and, in many cases, it is difficult to identify the cause.

    W...

    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 human germline for clinical purposes," NIH Direc...

    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.

    "The ability to combine data from s...

    A blood test may one day replace invasive tissue biopsies as a pain-free way to guide treatment in lung cancer patients, new research suggests.

    The so-called "liquid biopsy" can quickly identify tumor gene mutations that match targeted drug therapies -- potentially boosting patient survival.

    The new findings present "a convincing argument for use of the liquid biopsy as a fi...

    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 -- particularly abdominal obesity.

    ...

    Human papillomavirus (HPV) is easily transmitted during sex, but it is unlikely to be passed by the hands, Canadian researchers report.

    The virus, which infects the skin and genitals, is a cause of several types of cancer in both men and women, including cervical cancer, as well as tumors of the vagina, penis, anus and throat.

    Because HPV strains on your hand usually match t...

    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 BabySeq Project is the first randomized tri...