Tagged: genetics

Studying the complex genetics behind hair colour reveals how melanin affects us - Guest Work

Guest Author Nov 09, 2021

Frida Lona Durazo, Université de Montréal   One of the traits that we usually use to physically describe people is their hair colour. Hair is a useful descriptor because it varies so much among us. Melanin is the molecule responsible for the many different hair colour tones. It’s also responsible for the colour of our skin and eyes. We inherit … Read More

Why New Zealanders are vulnerable to genetic discrimination in health and life insurance - News

Guest Author Sep 28, 2021

Jane Tiller, Monash University and Andrew Shelling, University of Auckland   Genetic testing is increasingly used as part of routine healthcare to determine a patient’s risk for some conditions, including certain cancers. But insurers can use genetic test results to refuse cover or increase premiums. This is called genetic discrimination — the use of someone’s genetic information to treat them … Read More

Viking DNA and the pitfalls of genetic ancestry tests - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 12, 2021

Anna Källén, Stockholm University and Daniel Strand, Uppsala University A middle-aged white man raises his sword to the skies and roars to the gods. The results of his genetic ancestry test have just arrived in his suburban mailbox. His eyes fill with tears as he learns that he is “0.012% Viking”. These are the scenes from a video advertisement … Read More

Where are all the four-leaf clovers? And what does that have to do with learning to code? - Genomics Aotearoa

Genomics Aotearoa Mar 30, 2021

By Monica Vallender, Master’s student with AgResearch Invermay and the University of Otago. A few months ago, while home for the Christmas break, my mother – out of the blue – turned to me and asked, “what made you actually decide you wanted to go to university and study science?” Shocked and never thinking that I would someday have to … Read More

Skeletons in the closet: my ancestry DNA story - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Dec 17, 2019

‘Are you sitting down?’ the ominous words came down the phone line. Usually, that means something less than happy is about to be imparted. ‘It’s about your grandparents ….’ I grew up in the sunshine capital of Aotearoa New Zealand. My maternal grandparents lived just down the road. My grandfather was always a big part of my life. When not … Read More

Autism revisited: genetics, environment, not vaccines - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Mar 05, 2019

Researchers are pounding the trail of the genetics of autism. There is also more evidence that vaccines don’t cause autism. More interesting is what does cause autism. (Those looking for the vaccine bit should track down to the section, Another nail on the coffin.) Not the Rain Man People with autism or autism spectrum disorder find social communication and … Read More

Could – & should – the moa be a goer again? - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Jun 03, 2018

I’m starting to gear up for some Schol Bio preparation days in the regions (hi, Hawkes Bay! See you in 4 weeks!) and realised that I haven’t written anything specifically focused on those exams for a while. So I thought that putting something together would be a good way to spend a rather wet Sunday. At these days we usually … Read More

Thanks Mum and Dad! Reef fish inherit tolerance to warming oceans - News

Jean Balchin May 02, 2018

Recent research published in Nature Climate Change has found that reef fish can inherit from their parents the genetic tools to adjust to warming oceans. Obviously, given that our climate is rapidly changing, the decline of animal populations – particularly marine populations – is a distinct concern. For the first time, researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral … Read More

Free online tool could help women decide on breast reconstruction - News

Jean Balchin Apr 05, 2018

A new study published in Psycho-Oncology has revealed that a free web-based decision aid that helps women with breast cancer make decisions regarding reconstruction surgery after mastectomy is likely cost-effective. BRECONDA (Breast Reconstruction Decision Aid) is a tool that helps people make decisions about breast reconstruction surgery. It was developed in collaboration with an international team of breast surgeons, oncologists, … Read More

Potential genetic link in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) identified - News

Jean Balchin Apr 02, 2018

A case-control study in the UK and USA has found that rare genetic mutations associated with impairment of the breathing muscles are more common in children who have died from sudden infant death syndrome (cot death) than in healthy control children. Published recently in The Lancet, this study seems to indicate that there exists a possible genetic element of the disorder. Sudden … Read More