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Health News Results - 28

Blood Test Spots Biological Markers for Schizophrenia

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...

Cats Might Be Purrfect Model for Human Genetics Research

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...

Global Consortium Finds Genes That Drive Severe COVID-19

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...

No Genetic Damage to Kids of Those Exposed to Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster: Study

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...

You've Got Tens of Thousands of Virus Species Living in Your Gut

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 ...

Genes Could Raise COVID Risks for People With Down Syndrome

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...

Neanderthal Poop Provides Clues to  Modern Humans' 'Microbiome'

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 Germs on Your Toothbrush Can Reveal Your Health

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...

Sperm Samples May Help Predict Autism Risk in Offspring

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...

Do Genes Doom Some Kids to Obesity? Probably Not, Study Finds

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 ...

Gene Therapy Shows No Long-Term Harm in Animals: Study

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 Analysis Might Reveal Melanoma Risk

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 ...

Scientists Move Closer to Mapping Entire Human Genome

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...

Blood Test Could Spot 50 Different Cancers

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...

Do Gene Mutations Explain COVID-19 Cases in the Young?

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.

...

Coronavirus Isn't Even 'Alive,' But Expert Explains How It Can Harm

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.

...

Racism Linked to Faster Aging Among Blacks

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. <...

New DNA Blood Test May Help Guide Breast Cancer Treatment

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.

...

How to Protect Your DNA for Big Health Benefits

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 ...

Your Mom Plays a Role in Age at Menopause, Longevity

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...

Gene Test Might Someday Gauge Your Heart Attack Risk

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...

Sperm DNA Damage May Lead to Repeat Miscarriages: Study

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 ident...

After Chinese Infant Gene-Editing Scandal, U.S. Health Officials Join Call for a Ban

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...

Scientists Find 5 New Genes That Sway Alzheimer's Risk

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...

Could Invasive Lung Cancer Biopsies Be Replaced by Blood Tests?

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...

'Apple-Shaped' Body? 'Pear-Shaped'? Your Genes May Tell

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.

...

Hands Don't Spread HPV, Study Finds

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...

Decoding Newborn's DNA Could Pinpoint Hidden Risks

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...