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Top Genetic Findings in 2010

23andMe, a personal genomic company, released its list of top 10 genetic findings in 2010.

Personal Genomics Company 23andMe released a review of 2010 genetic milestones featuring a list of the top 10 most interesting findings. The company offers personal genetic testing to enable individuals to learn more about their own potential risks for certain illnesses and conditions.

"Our understanding of the human genome is accelerating at a phenomenal rate," said Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, in a statement. "Below we have compiled a list of our top ten favorite genetic discoveries from 2010. We look forward to exploring more discoveries in 2011."

Some of the top findings included research on Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease, and childhood asthma.

An abbreviated version of the list follows:

1. Genetics influences whether your body shape is "apple" or "pear" — and which shape you are has implications for disease.

- These findings have health implications because "apples", whose weight concentrates around their middles, appear to be at greater risk for developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes than their pear counterparts.

-Results from this study suggest that genetics play a more significant role in determining body fat distribution in women than in men.

2. Genetic variations newly associated with risk for childhood asthma

-New regions of the genome associated with childhood asthma were found by researchers.

-Chromosome 1 variants identified by researchers affect the odds of childhood asthma in different ways depending on ethnicity.

-Versions of the SNPs associated with increased risk in African Americans were associated with decreased risk in the Europeans. This is not unusual in genetic studies, and often reflects differences in the genetic backgrounds of different populations.

3. New Variants Influence Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis

-Recent research into the genetics of the disease has identified many of the genetic factors, and new studies continue to implicate additional variants that may influence risk.

-A research team in Japan at the RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine identified a variant, rs3093024, associated with rheumatoid arthritis risk in Japanese individuals.

-The second study, from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, confirmed the same association in individuals with European ancestry.

4. Understanding Alzheimer's disease

-In the last few years, however, research groups studying large numbers of people have identified variants in several new genes with small effects on the disease.

- SNPs rs744373 near the BIN1 gene and rs597668 near theEXOC3L2/BLOC1S3/ MARK4 genes have been found to play a role.

5. One size doesn't fit all — personalizing treatment

- The growing body of pharmacogenomics research has helped us understand that, at least in part, genetics play a role in how well some drugs work for different people.

-In 2007 and again in 2010, the FDA updated the labeling for warfarin to include information about how variations in two genes, CYP2C9 and VKORC1, can impact a patient's optimal dose of the drug

6. No clue yet to how long Geri-Boomers can expect to live

7. Baby's First Tooth May Be A Health Predictor

-Researchers identified several genetic variations associated with the timing of a baby's first tooth and the number of teeth at age one as published in the journal PLoS Genetics.

8. Before you call that relative a "Neanderthal," some more of what we've learned about our distant past

- This fall, a study of the Neanderthal genome, published in the journal Science presented strong evidence from genome sequencing that humans and Neanderthals interbred.

9. A Fresh Look at Latino Genetic Ancestry

-Researchers investigated DNA from 100 people, each with ancestry from one of four Latin American populations: Colombian, Dominican, Ecuadorian, and Puerto Rican. The study found that Latino populations differ markedly in the contribution of the source populations.

10. Web-based research works

-Self-reported data from individuals has the potential to yield data of comparable quality as data gathered using traditional research methods, moving scientific research forward, faster.

Source: 23andMe--Would you add anything else to the list? Leave a comment.