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Articles on Genes

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Collecting genetic information for the purposes of determining life insurance protections could lead to genetic discrimination. (Shutterstock)

Canada’s Genetic Non-Discrimination Act has only had a limited impact on the use of genetic information by life insurers

Canada needs additional regulation, developed through public consultations, stakeholder collaborations and community partnerships, to help regulate genetic testing and prevent genetic discrimination.
Survival curves for eight pure breeds. Border collie (dark blue), border terrier (light blue), bulldog (green), French bulldog (red), labrador retriever (orange), mastiff (purple), miniature dachshund (pink) and pug (brown). All purebreds vary significantly from crossbreds (light purple). Liliya Kulianionak/Shutterstock

How long might your dog live? New study calculates life expectancy for different breeds

New research shows that certain breeds tend to live longer than others, and this could help potential owners decide which companion is best for them.
Pharmacogenetic testing is a form of precision medicine, using your genes to personalize your care. D3Damon/E+ via Getty Images

Can at-home DNA tests predict how you’ll respond to your medications? Pharmacists explain the risks and benefits of pharmacogenetic testing

Genetic testing can help take the guesswork out of finding the right treatment. For certain diseases. To an extent.
For many people with fragile X, the mutated gene that causes symptoms is active rather than silenced. Thom Leach/Science Photo Library

Fragile X syndrome often results from improperly processed genetic material – correctly cutting RNA offers a potential treatment

Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited form of intellectual disability. Using short bits of DNA to fix improperly transcribed genes may one day be a potential treatment option.
Conditions in rural England around the turn of the 20th century offer a case study for cultural evolution researchers. Heritage Images/Hulton Archive via Getty Images

English dialects make themselves heard in genes

People with a common history – often due to significant geographic or social barriers – often share genetics and language. New research finds that even a dialect can act as a barrier within a group.
Ever wondered why people can’t agree on what foods taste good? Shift Drive/Shutterstock

Picky eater? Research shows it could be in your DNA

Our experiences of taste are so vivid and personal it can be hard to imagine how people can turn their nose up at your favourite comfort food. Research shows the explanation could be in your genes.
Partial layout of the graves discovered during the excavation at the medieval Jewish cemetery of Erfurt. Thuringian State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology/Karin Sczech + Katharina Bielefeld

Ancient DNA from the teeth of 14th-century Ashkenazi Jews in Germany already included genetic variations common in modern Jews

A German town needed to relocate a medieval graveyard to build a parking garage. A positive side effect: Scientists got to sequence the DNA of Ashkenazi Jews who lived more than 600 years ago.
Statistical pitfalls in GWAS can result in misleading conclusions about whether some traits (like long horns or spotted skin, in the case of dinosaurs) are genetically linked. @meanymoo

People don’t mate randomly – but the flawed assumption that they do is an essential part of many studies linking genes to diseases and traits

People don’t randomly select who they have children with. And that means an underlying assumption in research that tries to link particular genes to certain diseases or traits is wrong.

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