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Archive for the ‘Male Genetics’ Category

Our Health: Breast Cancer in men: What you need to know – Alton Telegraph

PEORIA People often think of breast cancer as a disease that exclusively targets women. While it is true that a great majority of breast cancer cases are women, Doctor Jessica Guingrich, a medical radiologist for OSF HealthCare and the Susan G. Komen Breast Center, says the disease doesnt discriminate against men.

Men and women both have breasts, so men and women can both get breast cancer. Its just significantly less common in a man because of the way their breasts develop, compared to the way a womans breast develops, said Dr. Guingrich.

Breast cancer in men is rare; about 1% of all breast cancers are diagnosed in males. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2019 about 2,670 invasive breast cancers will be diagnosed in men, and 500 men will die from the disease.

65 year old Allen Smith of Canton is part of that 1%. Smith, a prostate cancer survivor, was going through testing when a CT scan found an area of density in his chest wall. Doctors recommended a mammogram, which was a strange request to Smith.

I thought, everybodys going to look at me. Theres a guy coming in here, you know hes going to have a mammogram or whatever, and I felt a little odd, he said. I wasnt embarrassed by it, but I just felt a little odd because, you know this is kind of just like a new thing. I mean, you just dont hear of this.

Soon after his scan at the Susan G. Komen Breast Center in Peoria, Smith was diagnosed with stage zero breast cancer.

You could have knocked me on the floor with a feather, said Smith. I had no idea. I had no lump, I had no problem whatsoever there that I knew of.

Because of the rarity of breast cancer in men, many dont know the signs of a potential problem. Dr. Guingrich says a lump in the breast area, usually behind the nipple, is the main symptom for men to look for.

Its important to get that lump checked out because in a man, that lump, if it is a cancer, just has a greater chance of getting into the chest wall and into the muscle, into the nipple, into the lymph nodes much quicker than in a female because there just isnt much tissue buffer around a mass thats developing, she warned.

Men can also experience skin dimpling or puckering around the breast area, nipple retraction, redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin, or even discharge from the nipple.

Dr. Guingrich also says, as in women, family history of breast cancer needs to be considered for men. Both Smiths mother and grandmother had breast cancer.

If a man has a really strong family history, or if a man maybe has a family member who is a BRCA gene carrier, its really important to be aware of that risk, said Dr. Guingrich. You need to talk to your doctor about what can be done. A man should consider having genetic testing perhaps if they have a very strong family history of breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, the best strategies for reducing the number of deaths caused by the disease is early detection and prompt treatment.

Smith says, there is no reason to delay if you think you have a problem.

If you think theres something wrong with you, follow up. Dont think youre going to bother the doctors, dont think youre going to be a pain, follow up. Get it checked, Smith urged.

Dr. Guingrich agrees.

I think the important thing is that if a man notices a change to just be reassured that the physicians at breast facilities are there to help and to solve problems and give reassurance that things are okay, and if something needs to be biopsied, then we biopsy it and try to make it as comfortable of an environment as possible, she said.

OSF Saint Anthonys HealthCare recently opened the OSF HealthCare Moeller Cancer Center at 2200 Central Ave., Alton.

Our Health: Breast Cancer in men: What you need to know - Alton Telegraph

Association of Psychology Addressing Myths and Misconceptions about ADHD – VOCM

The local Association of Psychology is working to address some of the myths and misconceptions about ADHD during this, ADHD Awareness Month.

Dr. Janine Hubbard says despite extensive clinical and medical studies, many people still question whether Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a real medical condition.

She says ADHD conservatively affects about 5 per cent of the overall population and has a very strong genetic component.

Dr. Hubbard says ADHD is a chronic disorder affecting both males and females relatively equally that persists throughout a persons lifetime.

She says symptoms change over time, and the environments also change but you dont grow out of ADHD it just looks different.

She says that child who couldnt sit still in class might grow up to be someone who can sit when socially appropriate, but theyre fidgeting, clicking their pen or shaking their foot.

While many think of ADHD as manifesting in hyperactivity, brain scans show that the brain is actually less active. Dr. Hubbard says the disorder is best managed with medication if symptoms interfere with regular activities like school or work.

She says many people pour a cup of coffee if they want to help focus, stimulants prescribed for patients are similar in that they help to wake up the brain.

Dr. Hubbard says while a diagnosis of ADHD can mean that school or certain work environments might be more challenging for some, people with ADHD do succeed, especially when they choose a profession that keeps them engaged and stimulated.

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Association of Psychology Addressing Myths and Misconceptions about ADHD - VOCM

A Briton chasing moths comes to India: Its as exciting as watching Tendulkar score a century –

Growing up in a family of entomologists, bankruptcy lawyer Mark Sterling was always interested in moths. He could never quite kick the habit despite being busy rescuing troubled businesses. Now, at 61, the retired Briton is back to chasing moths-and his pursuit has brought him to India.

Sterling is an (unpaid) scientific associate at the Natural History Museum, London. His current project is to look at certain material in the museum since British entomologist Edward Meyricks time which has so far remained uncurated and undescribed on the basis of morphological analysis and DNA sequencing.

Meyrick was an entomologist with a passion for butterflies and small moths. He is believed to have described more species than anyone and his collection of around 100,000 specimens is housed at the London museum.

The work that I am doing at the moment involves a group of which 25 species were described between 1894 and 1934, Sterling said. Almost all of them were described by Meyrick, in almost all cases in India and Sri Lanka except for a pest species described by another scientist from Japan.

Speaking to Mongabayon the sidelines of the recently-concluded Asian Lepidoptera Conservation Symposium at the Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, Sterling said this group is known as the Metathrinca group small white moths within the family Xyloryctidae.

Butterflies and moths make up the order of insects called Lepidoptera. Xyloryctidae is a family of moths contained within the superfamily Gelechioidea, described by Edward Meyrick in 1890.

Theres been very little work done on that group [Metathrinca] since, Sterling told Mongabay. The work so far shows that this is actually a very large group that occurs from New Guinea to Japan, including most of southern Asia, India, and China.

One aim of his Kolkata visit, said Sterling, is to find some modern material (specimens) from India.

There is no recorded specimen from India of any Metathrinca group moth since 1934, he said. I am hoping to find fresh specimens because the historic Indian specimens are too old to produce viable DNA sequences at a realistic cost, if at all. I am hoping to find live specimens from India which will allow me to sequence modern materials.

Sterling observed it is impossible to know exactly what type of habitats the old Indian materials were collected from. All we know from their data is that they were collected from Meghalaya/the Khasi Hills/Shillong but from this, we can assume that they are classical northeast Indian hill and forest species, he said.

However, the British NHM also has species from southern Asia, in the 1970s and 1980s, which are a mixture of hill and forest species including a number of mangrove forest species, so Sterling said he is hoping to find some modern Indian specimens at the forest site in Dalma and the mangrove forest site in the Sunderbans.

Whether I find any is largely a matter of luck as I have no real insights into the exact sorts of habitats in which these species occur, said Sterling, describing what he calls a hit and miss approach. So I will be putting out light traps at night, as the males, in particular, are attracted to light. I am hoping I may find a few females. I will be putting out my lights hoping for the best but, if I dont find at least some specimens on this trip, I will be disappointed, given the diversity of the group and the richness of the Indian species. If I find the material I will need to collaborate with scientists in India in order to sequence and/or describe them and will undoubtedly need to find an excuse to come back to Kolkata in order to find further materials.

Sterling said he is keen on examining the genetic difference between the described Indian species and the species he is describing from the rest of Asia.

If I can find fresh Indian specimens which are morphologically identical to already described Indian species I will be able to obtain sequences from the fresh specimens and form a view as to the genetic divergence of the Indian species from the species from other parts of Asia, he said.

Sterling acknowledged that discovering and describing moth species may not be a huge benefit to mankind, but knowledge of biodiversity is critically important.

Its not something which will make the difference between economic riches for large corporations and it is not something which will improve agriculture so I cant claim it will be a huge benefit to mankind, argued Sterling. But knowledge of biodiversity is critically important. Biodiversity in itself should be regarded as an important resource in its own right and we will be contributing to the knowledge of biodiversity.

He also stressed on balancing conservation with real needs.

We need to conserve biodiversity but that cant be the only aim of the government; you have to balance conservation with very real needs of feeding a massive population, elaborated Sterling. You need to know how to conserve, what is most important to conserve, and how to do it and in order to do that as a starting point, you need to understand what the biodiversity is, and to understand the biodiversity you need to know what species are in a place.

Sterling grew up in England, Germany, and Belgium in a family of lepidopterists and has always been interested in moths and smaller moths because butterfly diversity in England is very low. There are only 64 species of resident butterflies in England, he said. Moths are more of a challenge and interesting and smaller moths were not very well known when I was younger so they were an obvious area of interest.

Unlike other family members, Sterling became a lawyer but always kept an interest in moths. When I became a partner in my firm I was sent to Hong Kong to set up an Asian bankruptcy business so I started working on smaller moths of Asia in my spare time, he recounted. I never managed to kick the habit. Now that I am retired I can go back to the family passion.

The older brother of well-known entomologist Phil Sterling, lead author of the acclaimed micro-moth guide The Field Guide to the Micro-moths of Great Britain and Ireland, Mark Sterling finds smaller moths challenging.

Smaller moths are challenging because there are very few people working on them, compared to larger moths and even more so if compared to butterflies, Mark Sterling noted. For example, if I go out on the field somewhere in Hong Kong, Malaysia or North East India I will expect that 50% to 80% of the smaller moths I see will be undescribed species.

Sterling says there could be at least 20,000 to 30,000 species of Lepidoptera waiting to be discovered only in India.

In India, there are about 10,000 species of Lepidoptera described, he said. Published estimates range between a further 10,000 to 20,000 which are undiscovered. On the basis of old historical records in NHM on which I am working, I would have thought the 10,000 to 20,000 number is a significant underestimate so there could be at least 20,000 to 30,000 species [of Lepidoptera] only in India.

But with a dearth of taxonomists, how do you get people to take an interest in conservation?

Sterling believes an appreciation of the natural environment and biodiversity should be an important part of everyday life. In some countries, this is beginning to happen. For example, in England, membership of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds exceeds the aggregate membership of the three main British political parties. Appreciation of moths and butterflies should be an important and exciting recreational activity open to everyone, he emphasised.

Seeing a rare beautiful butterfly or moth ought to be as exciting as watching [Indian cricketing legend] Sachin Tendulkar score a century, observed Sterling. The starting point is introducing people, children who want to do recreational activities in the evening, when they are not working, to the spectacular diversity of moths and butterflies.

If they are regarded as something to be treasured then research into them is going to be much easier to find funding so the starting point is educational and proselytization of natural resource as something which is there to be appreciated and enjoyed as a relaxation from what we do in our working lives, Sterling signed-off.

This article first appeared on Mongabay.

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A Briton chasing moths comes to India: Its as exciting as watching Tendulkar score a century -

Steppe migration to India was between 3500-4000 years ago: David Reich – Economic Times

Two recent papers- The Formation of Human Populations in South and Central Asia ( Vageesh Narasimhan et al) and An Ancient Harappan Genome lacks Ancestry from Steppe Pastoralists or Iranian Farmers (Vasant Shinde et al) - have sparked different interpretations on what they reveal about the genetics of ancient Indians. The papers were authored by a team of geneticists from Harvard Medical School working with Indian scientists. They studied ancient DNA from sites in Europe, Central Asia and South Asia, including a sample from the Indus Valley Civilisation site of Rakhigarhi, before drawing their conclusions. One of which was the contested claim that descendants of pastoralists from Eurasian steppes migrated to the Indian subcontinent in the first half of the second millenium BCE, "almost certainly" bringing Indo-European languages. Their studies also claim the Steppe migrants eventually contributed 0-30% of the genes of groups living in India today. In an email interview, Harvard geneticist Prof David Reich breaks down the findings. Excerpts.

1) What are the big takeaways from the 2 recent studies you co-authored - Vasant Shinde et al 2019, and Narasimhan et al 2019?

1. At least some of the people of the ancient people of the Indus Valley Civilization were a mixture of south/southeast Asian-related hunter gatherers and Iranian-related hunter-gatherers. I say Iranian-related because their ancestors may actually have lived in South Asia rather than the Iranian plateau for many thousands of years before the time of the IVC. We just dont know yet where they lived because of lack of ancient DNA from the relevant times and places.

2. A population like the people we call the Indus Valley Cline - consisting of a Harappan individual from the site of Rakhigarhi, plus 11 individuals who were buried at the sites of Gonur in Turkmenistan and Shahr-i-Sokhta in Iran and as likely migrants from the Indus Valley Civilization is the primary source population of both North and South India.

3. Some time in the first half of the second millennium BCE, descendants of Steppe pastoralists entered South Asia from the north, eventually contributing 0-30% of the genes of groups living today (varying depending on the present-day group), and also almost certainly bringing Indo-European languages. There is no evidence that the actual people who brought these genes to South Asia were pastoralists by occupation - their ancestors were pastoralists.

2) What more can you tell us from your studies about this Steppe migration? Mostly male? Was it a significant number - so as to make such drastic changes in the gene pool of such a large area?

It is entirely plausible, and in my opinion even likely, that the movement of people bringing this ancestry to the Indian subcontinent was not sex-biased, and involved both males and females. However, the process by which people carrying this ancestry mixed with people with ancestry like the individual from Rakhigarhi, was a sex-biased one, whereby most of the Steppe ancestry to mixed population was contributed by males. Note that according to our paper, in the Swat Valley, Steppe ancestry mixes into South Asia in a sex-biased way but in the REVERSE pattern, that is, most of the Steppe ancestry is coming from females.

"In the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age individuals of the Swat Valley, we detect a significantly lower proportion of Steppe admixture on the Y chromosome (only 5% of the 44 Y chromosomes of the R1a-Z93 subtype that occurs at 100% frequency in the Central_Steppe_MLBA males) compared with ~20% on the autosomes (Z = 3.9 for a deficiencyfrom males under the simplifying assumption that all the Y chromosomes are unrelated to each other since admixture and thus are statistically independent), documenting how Steppe ancestry was incorporated into these groups largely through females (Fig. 4). However, sex bias varied in different parts of South Asia, as in present-day South Asians we observe a reverse pattern of excess Central_Steppe_MLBArelated ancestry on the Y chromosome compared with the autosomes (Z = 2.7 for an excess from males).

These differences could be explained by a non-sex-biased migration from Central Asia into South Asia of people carrying Steppe ancestry, followed (at some point later) by preferential incorporation of females from this population into the Swat Valley peoples, and preferential incorporation of males from this population into the ancestors of most present-day South Asians.

3) When did they reach the Indian subcontinent?

We know this rather precisely from our analysis: the first half of the second millennium BCE.

4) Was this the 'collision' that formed present day Indian populations?

This is one of at least four major collisions we now know about:

a. The mixture of Iranian-related ancestry and South/Southeast Asian hunter-gatherer-related ancestry that formed the Indus Valley Cline on average 7400-5700 years ago.

b. The mixture of people on the Indus Valley Cline with people from the southeast carrying relatively more South/Southeast Asian hunter-gatherer-related ancestry after the decline of the mature Indus Valley Civilization around 4000-3000 years ago

c. The mixture of people on the Indus Valley Cline with people from the north carrying Steppe ancestry after the decline of the mature Indus Valley Civilization around 4000-2000 years ago

d. The mixture of these two mixed populations (b and c)

There are surely more collisions yet to be discovered!

5) And what was the route to the Indian subcontinent? From the Yamnaya culture in Eastern Europe to the Central steppes (BMAC) and then to South Asia?

The exact routes are currently unknown. Almost certainly it started in far eastern Europe more than 5000 years ago (with the Yamnaya or their close relatives), then 4500-4000 years ago moved possibly west to east-central Europe (but this westward-before-eastward deviation is not certain), and then moved far to the east across the Urals to the central Steppe (Kazakhstan) and Central Asia (places like Turkmenistan) before moving into South Asia 4000-3500 years ago.

It is likely, based on our analysis, that the population that contributed genetic material to South Asia was (roughly) ~60% Yamnaya, ~30% European farmer-like ancestry, and ~10% Central Steppe hunter-gatherer ancestry.

6) What difference, according to your study, did it make to the Indus Valley Civilisation gene pool ?

This ancestry admixed with people like those we sequenced from the Indus Valley Civilization, eventually contributing 0-30% Steppe-derived ancestry to present-day populations.

7) Was it the contrast in the genetic profiles of later Indian (South Asian) people and that of the 2600 BC Rakhigarhi woman and the 11 other Indus Valley people (discovered at sites related to IVC) that helped you get this picture?

Yes. With these individuals, we for the first time found ancient people who could serve as a statistically fitting genetic source for the largest component of ancestry in South Asian (the Iranian-related ancestry)

8) Does your Rakhigarhi study 'An Ancient Harappan Genome lacks Ancestry from Steppe Pastoralists or Iranian Farmers' in any way contrast the findings of your other ( Narasimhan et al) study 'The Formation of Human Populations in South and Central Asia'.

The two studies are fully consistent. I am confident that there are no contradictions.

9) Digs at the Indus Valley site Rakhigarhi, from where the woman's skeletal remains were discovered show an archaeological continuity. No signs of destruction. Is it possible to have a shift in a population and even possibly a change in civilisation without a disruption in material culture? Have you see that happen elsewhere?

This is entirely possible. We discuss this explicitly in our paper by making an analogy to a major and slightly earlier cultural and genetic transformation in western Europe, where we know more accurately what happened because of a richer ancient DNA record

If the spread of people from the Steppe in this period was a conduit for the spread of South Asian Indo-European languages, then it is striking that there are so few material culture similarities between the Central Steppe and South Asia in the Middle to Late Bronze Age (i.e., after the middle of the second millennium BCE). Indeed, the material culture differences are so substantial that some archaeologists report no evidence of a connection. However, lack of material culture connections does not provide evidence against spread of genes, as has been demonstrated in the case of the Beaker Complex, which originated largely in western Europe but in Central Europe was associated with skeletons that harbored ~50% ancestry related to Yamnaya Steppe pastoralists (18). Thus, in Europe we have an unambiguous example of people with ancestry from the Steppe making profound demographic impacts on the regions into which they spread while adopting important aspects of local material culture. Our findings document a similar phenomenon in South Asia, with the locally acculturated population harboring up to ~20% Western_Steppe_EMBAderived ancestry according to our modeling (via the up to ~30% ancestry contributed by Central_Steppe_MLBA groups)

10) You've said that people who formed the population of the IVC is the single largest genetic contributor to people living in South Asia today? Can you elaborate?

The great majority of present-day South Asians are a mixture of two source populations that formed after the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization: the Ancestral South Indians (ASI) and the Ancestral North Indians (ANI). In our paper (Figure 4D), we show that the ASI and ANI both have high proportions of Indus Valley Cline ancestry (similar to that of the Rakhigarhi individual). Depending on the particular model used, this number could range from 30-60% for the ASI, and very roughly around 70% for the ANI. Since present-day South Asians are largely a mixture of ANI and ASI who in turn both have major proportions of Indus Valley Cline-type ancestry, this is the largest source of ancestry in present-day South Asians.

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Steppe migration to India was between 3500-4000 years ago: David Reich - Economic Times

Mathew Knowles breast cancer: What are the symptoms, treatment for male breast cancer – WSB Atlanta


Mathew Knowles breast cancer: What are the symptoms, treatment for male breast cancer

Mathew Knowles, the father and former manager of singers Beyonc and Solange Knowles, revealed last week that he has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Knowles, a music executive, made the announcement during an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Around 2,670 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and 500 of them die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Knowles, 67, pointed out in the "GMA" interview that the key to a positive outcome with male breast cancer is, like other cancers, early detection and treatment.

He said he first realized something was wrong in July when he noticed a "dot" of blood on his shirt. He said he could not find out where the blood came from, but after a few days, he decided to check his breast and discovered some discharge from his nipple.

"So, I squeezed my nipple and sure enough, a little discharge came out, bloody discharge," Knowles told The New York Times. "I immediately called my doctor."

Knowles had a test done on the discharge, then a mammogram which revealed he had stage 1A breast cancer. He had a mastectomy just weeks after. During the mastectomy, Knowles also had three lymph nodes removed from under his arm to determine if the cancer had spread from the breast. It had not, Knowles was told.

Women are 10 times more likely to develop breast cancer than are men, but the rareness of the disease in men is a problem in early detection and treatment, according to the American Cancer Society.

"Finding breast cancer early improves the chances that male breast cancer can be treated successfully. However, because breast cancer is so uncommon in men, there is unlikely to be any benefit in screening men in the general population for breast cancer with mammograms or other tests," the ACS said.

Here is a look at the signs and symptoms of male breast cancer, treatment options and who is more likely to get the disease.

How common is male breast cancer?

It is uncommon for men to develop breast cancer. Male breast cancer accounts for less than 1 percent of all cancer diagnoses. On average, 1 man in 833 will develop breast cancer over a lifetime.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of male breast cancer are similar to the symptoms of female breast cancer. They include:

What risk factors increase a man's chance of developing breast cancer?

The risk factors that increase a man's chance of developing breast cancer are:

Who is likely to get breast cancer?

While men can be diagnosed with breast cancer at any age, breast cancer is very rare in men under the age of 35. Most breast cancers in men are found when they are between the ages of 60 and 70. A lump in the breast area at any age needs to be evaluated by a physician.

Black men are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than are white men.

What happens when breast cancer is suspected?

Your doctor will ask you some questions about your medical and family history if you come to him or her with breast cancer symptoms. After that discussion and a breast examination, a combination of medical tests will likely be ordered.

Those tests include:

What is the treatment?

Treatment for breast cancer depends on the stage of the cancer or if the cancer has spread beyond the breast. Among treatment options are:

What is the prognosis?

The outcome of cancer treatment depends on many factors. If the cancer is detected early before it has had a chance to spread, the five-year survival rate is 100%. Almost half of all male breast cancers are diagnosed at this stage, according to

The five-year survival rate for men with stage II disease is 87%, for stage III disease is 75% and for stage IV disease, when the cancer is advanced and has spread to other parts of the body, 25%.

2019 Cox Media Group.

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Mathew Knowles breast cancer: What are the symptoms, treatment for male breast cancer - WSB Atlanta

Vets put high welfare veal back on the table to help reduce surplus male production animals –

Want to Know About Your Baby and Fetus Health? Know Your Exposome – Fatherly

Scientists now know that genetics, although important, are not everything and what people are exposed to in the environment matters a great deal for predicting disease risks and overall health. There is reason to believe its especially vital for pregnant women and babies, so much so that its driving a new emerging field of study known as exposome research,or the investigation of human exposures as they relate to health. New data indicates that children may be at risk for everything from early puberty, male infertility, high blood pressure, certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, and even autism, depending on what they come into contact with in the womb.

There is probably a genetic component to autism, but its pretty clear that autism happens somewhere during fetal development at some critical time, says Dr. Michael Snyder, a medical doctor and geneticist. Understanding what the pregnant mom is exposed to and how that might lead to autism is a big deal and the answer is not really known. A lot of stuff is happening and its really important to know what moms are being exposed to. Prenatal exposures are very under-studied and very important to study.

The good news is that recent advances have made studying environmental exposures more possible than ever before. The challenge is, they have a lot of work to catch up on.Snyder, who also teaches and runs the Snyder Lab at Stanford University, is currently working with his colleagues to catalog as many relevant chemical and biological compounds in order to figure out exactly what it means for parents and their developing children. Here, he sharedwhat we know about how the environment, how it can hurt babies, and how much more there is left to be learned.

Its probably safe to say the field of exposome research is not well understood by the general public. What can you tell me about how this research works and how the data is developing?

Exposures can fall into different types. There are biological exposures, like allergens and things like that, and there are chemical exposures, called particulates. Were just starting to classify them, but we havent broken down the composition so much. Whats special about our work is that were trying to understand it in more detail what were exposed to, and on an individual level. Most research before would just put a device in a neighborhood to see the exposures as a whole, but what were doing is trying to tell the difference between my exposure and yours.

Do you have any examples?

How did you receive the flu shot?


Nasal Spray

Jet Spray

Thanks for the feedback!

One of the most obvious examples of this is smoking. We tell pregnant women not to smoke because of the clear chemical carcinogens that are going to be dangerous to the fetus. Clearly, most pregnant women dont smoke but theyre obviously exposed to lots of other things and I dont think we know what all those things are.

And youre seeing growing public interest in this research. Why?

People are realizing that autism is on the rise and its not just a matter of increased diagnosis anymore. Its reasonable to think that environmental exposures might contribute to that.People are starting to care about chemical exposure in the environment now because were learning it affects their kids, but also they are making the connections between things like polluted rivers and cancer. Data on people getting cancer living near toxic dumps is really quite clear. That awareness helps.

What else are you finding in the research that parents should know about.

What we and others are finding is that plastics are everywhere, certain carcinogens are everywhere, VEET which is found in bug sprays is everywhere. Having said that, their concentrations range from one place to another. Weve been able to show that location is probably the number one factor, but seasons are also a factor, especially when it comes to biological exposures, but to some extent chemicals as well.

Your exposure is pretty dynamic, meaning when you go from one place to the next there are very different exposures, some are chemical, some are more fungal. Some areas are loaded with more pesticides than others. If we can understand this better, we can reduce some of the exposures in bad areas.

What about plastics? Is the growing concern about the impact of plastics on our health warranted?

Most of us grew up during a time when plastic was everywhere and just assumed to be inert, meaning it didnt move. But clearly there is stuff that leaks out of plastics, and its only been realized more recently that that stuff is getting into what we eat. That is a recent phenomenon compared to even a few years ago because now we can measure it. From our work, it was very eye-opening to see that plastics were in nearly every sample we looked at. I certainly didnt expect that and it does raise concerns.

People hypothesize, but dont conclusively know, that girls are going through puberty earlier. Its been suggested that a lot of the stuff out there looks like estrogen related compounds that could be influencing that. A lot of these things are very similar to plastics.

What scientific advances have made it more possible to measure exposures?

Advances in DNA and RNA sequencing have helped us better identify the biological compounds its getting cheaper and easier to do that. After wearing a device for two years, I was exposed to over 2,000 different strains and we can pick that up and quantify all that now. Same goes for chemical compounds. Mass optometry is getting more and more sensitive and our ability to detect and identify these chemicals has gone up. Those technologies have been very powerful in finding whos been exposed to what.

Exposome research is getting a lot more attention in Europe and international communities. Why is the U.S. seemingly falling behind?

The European Union is rolling out a big initiative of environmental exposures. Theyre just awarding grants now, but we havent seen, anything like that in the United States. China is very concerned about it as well. I think part of it is just how funding has gone for this. Most of the funding in the U.S. comes from the NIEHS, The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and thats a very small institute compared to the overall National Institutes of Health. Most of the funding for biomedical research comes from NIH, but it doesnt fund environment research, because that is funded by NIEHS, and that is much smaller. Its just the way the funding is set up in the U.S.

So how long will it take for the research to catch up with the environment? How many years off are we from knowing how exposures affect people, especially developing babies?

In fairness were still just cataloging this and our work is incomplete. Step one is to identify all these things and then step two is that were doing most of these studies with mice, which is helpful, but we need to start doing them with humans and were still a few years away.

Estimating an exact number of years is tricky because that can change, but I do think it will take a long time, at least several years, to get everything cataloged. Then to test their effects is going to take many more years, so it will take some time. Maybe a decade, but there will certainly be things we learn between now and the next ten years. There will just more to learn after ten years. If we knew the answers, it wouldnt be science. Regionally, most of this will take 10 years or more, but I sure hope we can catalog everything in the next few years, and then once you know what youre exposed to, you can determine its effects.

Based on what we currently know what are the safest places and seasons for pregnant women?

We dont know much about seasons. Where we live in the Bay Area, we know that pine and eucalyptus peak in the late spring, early summer. So people with severe allergies may have a problem. But we know that there are other fungi that come in the fall, and if youre allergic to that, it wont be a good time for you. People in the northeast may avoid some of this in colder temperatures in the winter because they stay inside. Then there was a time when we heated homes with kerosene, and that wasnt good for our health either. But we dont know what this means for pregnancy.

Assuming its the same for fetuses everywhere, living near highways in cities, there are clearly a lot more particulates in the air, and that is generally perceived as bad. Toxic dump sites are not good either, and anywhere there is excessive amounts of pollution would be a place to avoid. But the reality is that most people dont have a choice where they live. They cant go buy a new house somewhere and theyre stuck where theyre stuck.

Its very nuanced and I dont think we know the effects all of these exposures have on peoples health. For all we know there is a major health hazard going around and no one is doing anything about it. It is all very concerning to me.

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Jose Altuves hitting is art, but its science, too – Houston Chronicle

There are any number of ways to quantify the astonishing things that Jos Altuve has wrought as a 66-inch-tall ballplayer wielding a 33-inch-long bat.

Statisticians can testify that Altuve has hit 11 postseason home runs a record for Major League Baseball second baseman including three in the just-completed American League Division Series.

High-speed cameras can document that Altuves Thursday night home run, the final blow in the Astros 6-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays that wrapped up the hard-fought, best-of-five series, traveled 405 feet and left his bat at 103.6 mph with a launch angle of 26 degrees.

Biomechanics analysts can postulate that Altuves success derives from a relatively high strength to body mass ratio, fast-twitch muscular interaction and exceptional ability to translate energy through adjacent body parts.

But it takes the words of a witness such as Justin Verlander, armed only with his two good eyes and an appreciation of the skills required to play big-league baseball, to provide an adequate summary of what these elements represent to anyone playing with or against Altuve.

The stamp of an incredible ballplayer is when you know immediately, after playing with them a week or two, how special they are, Verlander said before the Astros open the American League Championship Series against the Yankees on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.

Altuve beats you in every facet of the game, he added. He beats you with his legs. He beats you with his arm. He beats you with his contact. He can hit the long ball. He has range at second base that is unbelievable. He does everything extremely well, and when you put it all together and add in that clutch gene that he has, it makes Jos Altuve.

Astros fans have marveled at Altuve for a decade, through his arrival in 2011 with teams that lost at least 100 games three years in a row through the ballclubs rebuild with three straight 100-win seasons, the 2017 World Series title and Altuves selection with Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt as Sports Illustrateds 2017 Sportspersons of the Year.

However, his recent power surge, with a career-high 31 home runs in MLBs year of the long ball, plus three more in the Division Series, has focused new attention on the astonishing things that Altuve can perpetrate upon an incoming baseball.

Truth be told, those who study baseball, strength training and biomechanics say that Altuve, with 11 homers in 165 postseason plate appearances, succeeds because of the same elements that powered Babe Ruth, who at 6 feet, 2 inches tall and 215 pounds had 15 homers in 167 World Series plate appearances.

Its our expectations, they say, that are befuddled by Altuves excellence.

He has signals that go to his brain to his arms quicker than other people, and he can react to them, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. He sees things like no one else sees things. It involves eyes, the way people are wired and their physical abilities.

Hes one of the elite athletes of the world. I dont think we can explain why Michael Jordan did what he did or what LeBron James does or what any elite athlete does. They just have the ability to do it.

Altuves relatively small size has long been the subject of some humor. Witness the website, where users can calculate distances in units paired to Altuves height (which the website says is 5 feet, 5 inches); 100 yards, for example, is 55.38 Altuves.

Height, however, is not a liability in baseball to the degree that it is in other team sports. Wee Willie Keeler, Rabbit Maranville, Phil Rizzuto, Joe Sewell and Hack Wilson all were selected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame despite standing 5-foot-6 or shorter, and Wilson in 1930 hit 56 home runs with an MLB record 191 RBIs.

Dr. Glenn Fleisig, research director for the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala., said one of baseballs singular virtues is that players of any stature can excel given certain other attributes.

Biomechanics is a fancy word for technique, which is the proper sequence of different motions. When do you rotate your hips? How much do you rotate them? When do you twist your trunk? When do you extend your elbow? he said. The guys who succeed can consistently fire body parts at the right time with the right amount of flexibility and power.

You have to have the right combination. Its not genetics, its not conditioning, its not training. Its everything. You have to have all three. You cant have just two. And proper mechanics is the same for the big guys and the little guys.

Matthew Mahar, director of the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University, said Wilson may be the Hall of Famer who most resembles Altuve in terms of body composition.

My visual analysis suggests that they both used relatively large bats and were able to generate great bat speed, which would lead to the force needed to hit the long ball, Mahar said. They both appear to use enormously strong lower bodies to generate bat speed.

Duane Knudson, a professor at Texas State University in San Marcos who is president of the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports, said certain physical forces favor a player of Altuves size.

The larger person has more body mass to fling around to swing a bat, Knudson said. Think about Arnold Schwarzenegger having to twist his trunk to hit a baseball. Now think about Simone Biles and the amount of strength that she has relative to her body mass.

Strength researchers talk about relative strength. I would imagine that Jos Altuve has a very high strength to body mass ratio, and hes able to make the most of his stature.

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa may lack up-to-date knowledge of biometric analysis, but, like Verlander, he knows what he sees when it comes to Altuves relative strength.

Pound for pound, he is the strongest guy in the clubhouse. He is a strong human being, Correa said. Hes fast. His legs are strong. He can squat more than anybody in the weight room. He can do maybe 20 pullups in a row, and nobody else can do that in here.

His power is insane, and he can transfer it to the ball. Call it what you want, but the man is good.

In 2011, when Altuve made his Astros debut, a story on the website said that based on his height and the attributes he displayed during his early career, he most resembled those of Bip Roberts, who at 5-foot-7 played 12 years in the big leagues and was a career .294 hitter with 30 home runs and an on-base percentage of .358 with 264 stolen bases and an on-base plus slugging percentage of .737.

Through nine seasons, however, Altuve has 128 homers with a .315 batting average, 254 steals, a .364 on-base percentage and an OPS of .827.

In other words, hes trending less toward Bip Roberts and more toward Joe Morgan, who began his career in Houston and made the Hall of Fame despite a modest 5-foot-7 stature.

Morgan said during a recent trip to Houston that he believes Altuve is the best player in the game.

I love Altuve. What is there not to love? Morgan said. He hits as many home runs as the guys theyre saying are better than him, he drives in runs, he scores runs. He can do anything, and what makes him special is that hes shorter than me.

To say that he has exceeded expectations, said his former minor league manager Rodney Linares, now a coach with the Rays, is a modest assessment.

I never thought he would hit more than 15 or 20 homers a year, Linares said. He deserves a lot of credit. He works more than anybody. He has the short limbs and quick hands, and if he can get to a ball, he can do something with it.

Altuve acknowledges that he has changed his game over the last few years to emphasize power.

Now, Im just looking to drive the ball, Altuve said earlier this year. Using that little adjustment has impacted my game big-time.

Still, the subject of homers makes him cringe.

I dont like talking about homers, he said earlier this week. Yes, I ended up with a lot of homers, and it makes me happy because youre helping your team.

I think as you get older you become, maybe, a little bit smarter. You know what theyve been doing to you the last couple of years. You know what youve got to go to look for. Last year theyve thrown me a certain pitch, and I was taking it. Now, I start swinging, so I think thats why maybe Im hitting some homers.

Biometrics has made more advances in the art of pitching than hitting, since the pitcher initiates the action and therefore has fewer variables to deal with than the batter receiving the pitch. The sum of a player such as Altuve, however, clearly is greater than the parts.

A body is a linked mechanical system, said Knudson, the Texas State professor. We transfer energy between body segments, and some of that force is hard to track because force is three-dimensional. If you apply it in the wrong direction, it can be counterproductive.

Hitting a baseball may be one of the most difficult things to do in sports. Its a complex, three-dimensional movement. Trying to understand it may be one of the most important questions in biomechanics. But the science is accelerating, and eventually well get there.

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Jose Altuves hitting is art, but its science, too - Houston Chronicle

Study: Negative Emotions Increase Risk for Anxiety in Boys with – Fragile X News Today

Boys with fragile X syndrome (FXS) who experience negative emotions such as anger and fear up to preschool age are more prone to develop anxiety, a new study suggests.

The study, Early negative affect in males and females with fragile X syndrome: implications for anxiety and autism, was published in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and was conducted by University of South Carolina researchers.

FXS is the most common genetic cause of autism and intellectual disability. The prevalence ofautism spectrum disorder (ASD), an umbrella term for autistic behaviors, ranges from 5075% in males and reaches 25% of females with fragile X. Anxiety also is common, and is present in 86% of males and 77% of females with fragile X.

Early predictors of anxiety and ASD in fragile X are lacking. Also unknown is whether the prevalence of these comorbidities is different between males and females with fragile X.

Negative affect is a concept that includes fear, sadness, frustration, and difficulty regulating emotions, involving a generally negative way of experiencing the world. It is used in clinics as a predictor of anxiety and ASD for infants and toddlers.

Seeking to assess the prevalence of negative affect and whether its impact is different in boys and girls with fragile X, researchers followed a total of 185 children from the age of 6 months to 60 months (5 years), of whom 116 have fragile X (75% male) and 69 with typical development (79.7% male).

The study also intended to explore whether negative affect could predict anxiety and ASD in children with fragile X.

Negative affect was measured using the Rothbart Temperament Questionnaires, one of the most-used measures for this purpose in infancy and childhood. The questionnaires are answered by parents and include three different sets according to the childs age: the Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised for infants between 6 and 18 months; the Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire for children between 1836 months; and the Childrens Behavior Questionnaire for children 3660 months.

The Spence Childrens Anxiety Scale for Parents (SCAS-P) was used to measure anxiety, and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2) was used to explore ASD. The SCAS-P score has an average of 50, and higher scores represent more anxiety symptoms. The ADOS-2 scoring system ranges from 1 to 10, and higher values reflect more severe ASD symptoms.

The Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL) was used to measure development level, and spans motor and visual domains, as well as language skills.

The analysis revealed that negative affect increased from infancy through preschool in both controls and children with fragile X. However, the increases were steeper in children with fragile X, with lower levels than in the controls from 6 to 36 months of age, followed by increases to similar levels of controls from 36 months onward.

This atypical variation in fragile X, the scientists observed, was largely driven by sex, specifically males. After showing lower levels than girls during infancy, boys with fragile X showed steep increases across the toddler and preschool years. In contrast, girls showed a flatter trajectory throughout the study.

Male infants with FXS displayed lower negative affect than female infants with FXS at 6 months, equivalent levels at 12 months, and higher negative affect by 36 months, the investigators wrote.

The smaller increase in girls compared to boys may reflect their milder symptoms, the scientists said.

Of note, no gender differences were seen in the control group.

Increased negative affect predicted anxiety symptoms in boys, but not in girls. In turn, negative affect was not linked with ASD in fragile X, irrespective of gender.

Overall, these results suggest that temperamental negative affect can be an important early marker for anxiety in young children with FXS, the researchers wrote. Also, they provide opportunities for the pursuit of an important target for early detection and intervention.

These findings also show that including both males and females in FXS research can enhance our understanding of the unique vulnerabilities and needs of either sex, they added.

Patricia holds her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from University Nova de Lisboa, and has served as an author on several research projects and fellowships, as well as major grant applications for European Agencies. She also served as a PhD student research assistant in the Laboratory of Doctor David A. Fidock, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Columbia University, New York.

Total Posts: 7

Ana holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Lisbon and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) in Lisbon, Portugal. She graduated with a BSc in Genetics from the University of Newcastle and received a Masters in Biomolecular Archaeology from the University of Manchester, England. After leaving the lab to pursue a career in Science Communication, she served as the Director of Science Communication at iMM.

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Study: Negative Emotions Increase Risk for Anxiety in Boys with - Fragile X News Today

Mathew Knowles breast cancer: What are the symptoms, treatment for male breast cancer – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Mathew Knowles, the father and former manager of singers Beyonc and Solange Knowles, revealed last week that he has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Knowles, a music executive, made the announcement during an interview onABCs Good Morning America.

Around 2,670 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and 500 of them die from the disease,according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Knowles, 67, pointed out in the GMA interview that the key to a positive outcome with male breast cancer is, like other cancers, early detection and treatment.

He said he first realized something was wrong in July when he noticed a dot of blood on his shirt. He said he could not find out where the blood came from, but after a few days, he decided to check his breast and discovered some discharge from his nipple.

So, I squeezed my nipple and sure enough, a little discharge came out, bloody discharge,Knowles told The New York Times. I immediately called my doctor.

Knowles had a test done on the discharge, then a mammogram which revealed he had stage 1A breast cancer. He had a mastectomy just weeks after. During the mastectomy, Knowles also had three lymph nodes removed from under his arm to determine if the cancer had spread from the breast. It had not, Knowles was told.

Women are 10 times more likely to develop breast cancer than are men, but the rareness of the disease in men is a problem in early detection and treatment,according to the American Cancer Society.

Finding breast cancer early improves the chances that male breast cancer can be treated successfully. However, because breast cancer is so uncommon in men, there is unlikely to be any benefit in screening men in the general population for breast cancer with mammograms or other tests,the ACS said.

Here is a look at the signs and symptoms of male breast cancer, treatment options and who is more likely to get the disease.

How common is male breast cancer?

It is uncommon for men to develop breast cancer. Male breast cancer accounts for less than 1 percent of all cancer diagnoses. On average, 1 man in 833 will develop breast cancer over a lifetime.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of male breast cancer are similar to the symptoms of female breast cancer. They include:

What risk factors increase a mans chance of developing breast cancer?

The risk factors that increase a mans chance of developing breast cancer are:

Who is likely to get breast cancer?

While men can be diagnosed with breast cancer at any age, breast cancer is very rare in men under the age of 35. Most breast cancers in men are found when they are between the ages of 60 and 70. A lump in the breast area at any age needs to be evaluated by a physician.

Black men are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than are white men.

What happens when breast cancer is suspected?

Your doctor will ask you some questions about your medical and family history if you come to him or her with breast cancer symptoms. After that discussion and a breast examination, a combination of medical tests will likely be ordered.

Those tests include:

What is the treatment?

Treatment for breast cancer depends on the stage of the cancer or if the cancer has spread beyond the breast. Among treatment options are:

What is the prognosis?

The outcome of cancer treatment depends on many factors. If the cancer is detected early before it has had a chance to spread, the five-year survival rate is 100%. Almost half of all male breast cancers are diagnosed at this stage, according

The five-year survival rate for men with stage II disease is 87%, for stage III disease is 75% and for stage IV disease, when the cancer is advanced and has spread to other parts of the body, 25%.

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Novo Nordisk and bluebird bio Enter 3-Year Gene Therapy Collaboration Pact – BioSpace

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based bluebird bio and Bagsvaerd, Denmark-based Novo Nordisk announced they have agreed to collaborate to develop next-generation genome editing therapies for genetic diseases, including hemophilia. The deal will last three years, with a top priority to develop a gene therapy for hemophilia A.

The partnership will leverage bluebirds mRNA-based megaTAL technology that is used to silence, editor or insert genetic components. Novo Nordisk has a hemophilia portfolio. The initial focus will be on correcting FVIII-clotting factor deficiency. No financial details were disclosed.

MegaTALs are a single-chain fusion enzyme. It combines the natural DNA cleaving processes of Homing Endonucleases (HEs) with the activity of transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors at the DNA binding region. These proteins are easily engineered to recognize specific DNA sequences.

We are pleased to announce our collaboration with bluebird whose demonstrated capabilities in gene therapy will enable the next-generation of innovative products to make a significant impact on patients lives, said Marcus Schindler, Novo Nordisks senior vice president for Global Drug Discovery.

He went on to say, This important research collaboration aimed at addressing genetic diseases at the DNA level reflects Novo Nordisks enduring commitment and dedication to inventing disease-modifying medicines that can truly change the lives of people living with hemophilia and other genetic diseases.

Novo Nordisk is better known for its strong presence in the diabetes market and for metabolic diseases. However, the company has been increasing its efforts in hemophilia, with its hemophilia A drug Esperoct receiving approval from both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) this year.

Hemophilia A is found in about one in 5,000 people and hemophilia B in about one in 25,000 male births. It is estimated that more than 400,000 males have hemophilia A or B, which is severely underdiagnosed in developing countries. About 304,000 people are diagnosed with hemophilia A, the result of decreased or defective production of the blood clotting factor VIII. Hemophilia B is not as common, but affects about 136,000 people who have deficiencies in clotting factor IX.

Hemophilia patients often have bleeding into the joints, particularly knees and ankles, and can have uncontrolled bleeding from trauma, surgery, tooth extractions or other minor surgical treatments.

Bluebird bio is a pioneer of gene therapy. On June 3, the European Commission (EC) granted the company conditional marketing approval for its LentiGlobin gene therapy for transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia (TDT) under the brand name Zynteglo. It was approved for patients 12 years or older with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia who did not have a 0/0 genotype and for patients where hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation wasnt appropriate, but a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched related HSC donor isnt available.

The therapy came with a $1.8 million price tag in Europe, although it has offered a variety of pricing schemes, including a five-year payment plan with annual payments contingent on the therapys continued effectiveness, to offset criticism of the price.

Of the deal with Novo Nordisk, Philip Gregory, bluebirds chief scientific officer, stated, bluebird has made tremendous progress on enabling an in vivo gene editing platform based on our megaTAL technology, including important advances in high-quality mRNA production and purification. We believe this technology has the potential to create a highly differentiated approach to the treatment of many severe genetic diseases. Moreover, we are thrilled to be able to combine this new platform technology with Novo Nordisks deep expertise in hemophilia research and therapeutics. We believe this collaboration will move us toward our shared goal of recoding the treatment paradigm and substantially reduce the burden of disease for patients with factor VIII deficiency.

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’10 Questions’ series looks at moral truth and the creation of knowledge – Daily Bruin

UCLA faculty from the humanities, arts and life sciences answered the question, What is knowledge? Tuesday at the second lecture of a 10-week series.

Tyler Burge, a professor in the Department of Philosophy, said he thinks knowledge exists in many forms including common sense, scientific knowledge and historical knowledge, and should not be considered as a single, unified concept.

I think its very important to be a pluralist about knowledge, Burge said, Im much more fascinated with differences in types of knowledge.

Burge was one of three panelists at the lecture, which was hosted by Victoria Marks, associate dean of academic affairs at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.

This years 10 Questions series is one of the UCLA Centennial Campaigns events. It was sponsored by the Centennial Committee, the School of the Arts and Architecture and a grant from UCLAs Interdisciplinary and Cross Campus Affairs, Marks said in an email statement.

Burge said he thinks moral knowledge is often underrated as a form of knowledge. While morality can be considered subjective in some senses, there are certainly some indisputable moral truths like the unethical nature of torture and slavery, he added.

Shane Campbell-Staton, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, said knowledge is always an incremental building on an existing foundation rather than a genuine unique discovery, and illustrated this through his research with elephants.

Campbell-Staton found that a lack of tusks in elephants is an X chromosome-linked trait that causes death in males before birth, leading to the prediction that two out of three offspring born to tuskless female elephants are female offspring, which served as an incremental increase in knowledge about genetic inheritance.

Campbell-Staton added the Schrdingers cat thought experiment can help reveal the relationship between quantitative and abstract knowledge, as the abstract concept allows us to understand quantitative data. Schrdingers cat is a hypothetical experiment in which one would not know whether a cat placed in a box with poison released at a random point in time was dead or alive.

Sylvan Oswald, an assistant professor in the Department of Theater, read an excerpt of his piece about an insomniac searching for his estranged brother to illustrate the way that art does not fundamentally seek to produce knowledge, but can often generate knowledge as a byproduct.

Oswald added he wrote a play during college and felt a strong impulse that the male character be portrayed by a female actor. Oswald did not know at the time why he was so insistent on the detail, but later realized it was a manifestation of his own suppressed transgender identity.

Its a great example of how the subconscious can know more than the conscious, Oswald said.

Campbell-Staton added it is remarkable how much the unconscious can understand, referring to the way humans react to a roar in the woods.

There are aspects of our basal consciousness that are much older and much wiser (than other parts of our brain), Campbell-Staton said. If you heard a roar, youd probably be scared. You dont know why but youre doing it.

Aya McGlothlin, a recent UCLA graduate who attended the talk, said she liked the seminar-style structure of the event and how the panelists discussed the many different definitions of knowledge.

(The definitions) act as operant definitions, but they are all truth, McGlothlin said.

Paul McGlothlin, a UCLA alumnus who attended the talk, said he thinks the event changed his perspective on the concept of knowledge.

I think whenever anybody poses a really good question, it causes you to think differently, Paul McGlothlin said.

The next lecture in the series, What is justice? will take place Tuesday in Kaufman Hall.

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'10 Questions' series looks at moral truth and the creation of knowledge - Daily Bruin

Meet the 11 Finalists of Calcalist’s Foodtech Innovation Competition – CTech

On Monday, October 28, Calcalist, Israeli food processing company Tnuva, and accounting firm KPMG will announce the winner of their annual food innovation competition for Israeli startups. Dozens of Israeli foodtech companies participated in the competition, and the 11 finalists will present their technology at Calcalits Food Tech 2019 conference, which will be held at Tel Aviv coworking space Labs.


Funding: $48 million

Investors: aMoon, Ofek Ventures, Johnson & Johnson, Seventure Partners, Israeli basketball player Omri Casspi

Funding: $100,000

Yoran Imaging

Funding: $1.5 million

Investors: private investors

Funding: $10.25 million

Investors: Fortissimo, Hazera 1939, Dan Danzinger, Roquette

Soos Technology

Founder: Yael Alter

Funding: $1.8 million

Investors: Takwin, Mikal, SIBF, Alon Gozlan


Funding: $550,000

Investors: Alex Haruni, Termaips Technologies, F&F

Zero Egg

Funding: $1.05 million

Investors: The Kitchen, New Crop Capital

Zero Egg Ltd. develops and manufactures a plant-based liquid egg that tastes, looks, and functions like a real egg, the company says, and can be used as an egg substitute in any recipe, including to make omelets and mayonnaise. The companys egg substitute has no cholesterol.

TIPA Compostable Packaging

Funding: $49 million

Investors: Greensoil, Chestnut holdings, Horizons Ventures, Blue Horizon Ventures, Triodos Organic Growth Fund


Funding: $1 million

Investors: private investors

Meet the 11 Finalists of Calcalist's Foodtech Innovation Competition - CTech

AJ Green Feeling A Return: I Think I’ll Be The Same Guy –

I tell everybody I havent heard anything, Green says. I dont fantasize about anything like that. Im just trying to get healthy and go from there.

He also knows its a business: Im prepared for anything. A trades not going to change who I am. Im still going to play. Im still going to be A.J.

Greens in the last year of his deal and the Bengals have never hid from their desire to lock up one of their franchise greats one more time for a third contract that solidifies him as the Bengals all-time leading receiver and locker-room anchor for new head coach Zac Taylors culture.

The injury, coming on the heels of big toe surgery that wiped out the last half of last season, put the contract talks that were percolating during the summer on hold. Now the Bengals are focused on getting a win and Green is focused on getting back healthy. Everybody has to see where everybody is. What we do know is that a fire sale just isnt Bengals president Mike Browns style. A deal with one of his all-time greats is more like it.

It certainly is to Green. As he told Paul Dehner, Jr., of The Athletic last week, he wants to pull The Larry and stay in the same city for his entire career like Fitzgerald has spent his 17 season in Phoenix.

The trade rumors and the start have done nothing to shake him. He says if the contract is fair, hes all in. Whether they re-build or not. He says hes not looking to jump to a hot team.

Thats just not who I am. Im loyal to the person who gave me my shot, Green says. They took care of Larry. Hes a Cardinal. No matter how many times they rebuild, hes a Cardinal. Hes the only guy still there.

So amid the buzz, the contraption strapped to his foot on the training table, the contract, Green is as impassive and as intense as ever. Well see, he says of the future. Right now he just wants to get back and win games and get back in the AFC North race.

I want the team records. I want more Pro Bowls. I want all that, Green says, so when I leave there is going to be a standard. I still want the yardage, I still want thetouchdowns.

He says he also wants to do it for one team. Thats my legacy, he says. Green, 1,877 yards shy of passing Chad Johnson as the Bengals all-time leader, has had to scale back his career projections.

Before the last two injuries robbed him of at least 14 healthy games, he was thinking between 15-16,000 yards. With 8,907 yards, now hes thinking 13-14,000. He thinks that still gets him into the Hall of Fame. He plans on tacking on to those seven Pro Bowls and if he adds two or three he probably will get to Canton. Five more Pro Bowls would make him a no-brainer.

Its 5:30 p.m. More guys are leaving. The thing on his ankle is strapped to a machine humming with stimulation. It alternates between heat and cold, just like Greens frosty brew of passion. A pro's hour remaining.

Its nothing frustrating. Its just time. I just have to be patient, Green says. I cant rush it and not be the same guy and mess around and get hurt again. Ive got to make sure its right before I even step out there.

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To See Into the Future Inside the Old World’s New Hop Breeding Programs – Michael Kiser

Something like pineapple, I say. Lychee. Loads of tropical fruit.

Lutz nods, his fingers stained chartreuse with lupulin, a bright green fleck of hop cone stuck to his neatly trimmed mustache. He inhales again.

Maracuja, he says. He nods and smiles. And apricot. Thats Callista.

As in wine, Old World hops are known for their relative restraint and subtlety, versus the bombast of New World varietals. Think of the four, acclaimed noble hopsSaaz, Tettnanger, Spalt, and Hallertauer Mittelfrhthat have made Continental Lagers famous for centuries. But across Europe, hop breeders like Lutz are working to develop an array of exciting new cultivars that stray far from the refined, elegant aromas of tradition. In the place of gentle, cedary notes, these hops might throw off tons of maracuja (also known as passion fruit). Instead of orange blossoms, some of these new hops offer an entire forest of pine trees. Where you might expect delicate spice, you instead get a wacky fruit salad, filled with peaches, melons, and grapes.

While such unusual aromas are probably the most interesting aspects of new hop varieties for beer lovers, breeding programs like those of the Hop Research Center have goals far beyond mere aromaswhich makes a lot of sense when you remember that this institute was founded in 1926, long before the age of tropical-fruit IPAs.

On our walk through the Hop Research Centers greenhouses, laboratories and nurseries, the programs research director, Dr. Elisabeth Seigner, outlines its origins.

In those days it was founded because the growers had great problems with downy mildew. All across Europe, downy mildew was a real problem with all the landrace hops, she explains. While treatments with copper hydroxide helped with the disease, the institute started crossbreeding the traditional hops of the region with wild varieties, which have a natural tolerance for downy mildew. Chemical protection was very effective, but even in those days, we started breeding research, she says.

Today, the breeding program for new cultivars is just one of the institutes five main areas of focus, which also include plant protection, organic hop production, hop analysis, and a hop production advisory service. (Put another way: the institute creates new hops, tests hop pesticides, figures out how to grow hops without any pesticides at all, studies the chemical components of hops, and consults with farmers on their hop farms, working right in the middle of Germanys largest hop-growing region.) Since its humble origins in the fight against mildew on traditional noble hops, the breeding program at Hll has grown into one of the largest in the world.

We are the institute with the highest number of crosses per year100 crosses per year, Seigner says. The next year 100,000 seedlings are raised in the greenhouse, and then they are raised in our kindergarten.

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To See Into the Future Inside the Old World's New Hop Breeding Programs - Michael Kiser

The deeper the octopus the wartier the skin – SciTech Europa

Deep beneath the oceans surface, warty pink octopuses creep along the seafloor. These members of the octopus species take variations in skin texture to a whole new level. Some have outrageous warts, while others appear nearly smooth-skinned. Scientists werent sure if these octopuses were even members of the same species, and they didnt know how to explain the differences in the animals looks. But in a new study, scientists cracked the case: the deeper in the ocean the octopuses live, the bumpier their skin and the smaller their bodies. DNA revealed even though the octopuses looked different, they were the same species.

If I had only two of these animals that looked very different, I would say, Well, theyre different species, for sure. But variation inside animal species can sometimes fool you, says Janet Voight, associate curator of zoology at the Field Museum, USA, and the lead author of the paper in the Bulletin of Marine Science. Thats why we need to look at multiple specimens of species to see, does that first reaction based on two specimens make sense?

To figure out if the smooth and warty octopuses were the same species, the scientists examined 50 specimens that were classified asGraneledone pacifica the Pacific warty octopus. Plunging deep into the ocean in ALVIN, a human-occupied submersible vehicle, Voight collected some of the octopuses from the Northeast Pacific Ocean. The team also studied specimens loaned from the University of Miami Marine Laboratory and the California Academy of Sciences. They looked at specimens from up and down the Pacific, from as far north as Washington State to as far south as Monterey, California, and from depths ranging from 3,660 feet to more than 9,000 feet below the oceans surface.

The researchers counted the number of warts in a line across each octopuss back and its head and the number of suckers on their arms. They found that the octopuses from deeper in the ocean looked different from their shallower counterparts. The deep-sea specimens were smaller, with fewer arm suckers, and, most noticeably, bumpier skin than those from shallower depths. The thing is, there werent two distinct groups; the animals appearances changed according to how deep they live. Comparing the octopuses DNA sequences revealed only minor differences, supporting the idea that they were all the same species, despite looking so different.

Sometimes when animals look different from each other, scientists can be tempted to jump the gun and declare them separate species especially in the deep sea, where very little is known about animal life and scientists often dont have many specimens to compare. But looking different doesnt necessarily mean that animals are members of different species; take chihuahuas and Great Danes, which are both the same species of Canis lupus familiaris.Dogs different appearances are due to selective breeding by humans, but in the case of the warty octopuses in this study, their different appearances seem to result from environmental influences, because their appearance changes depending on where the octopuses are from.

Scientists arent sure why the variations in skin texture occur with depth. But they do have a hunch about the size difference.

Voight thinks that these octopuses usually eat creatures from the sediment on the ocean floor, passing food from sucker to sucker and then crushing their prey like popcorn. Theres less food as you get deeper in the ocean. So these animals have to work harder to find food to eat. And that means at the end of their lives, theyll be smaller than animals who have more food. If youre a female whos going to lay eggs at the end of your life, maybe your eggs will be smaller says Voight. Smaller eggs mean smaller hatchlings.

Support for this hypothesis comes from the number of suckers on the males arm that transfers sperm packets to females. Earlier research by Voight found that male hatchlings have a full-formed arm with all its suckers in place. The researchers documented that the number of suckers on this arm was way smaller in males from greater depth, and Voight hypothesises it relates to egg size.

The octopus hatchlings in shallower water, only 3,660 feet, are bigger. Their eggs had more yolk. As the embryos grew, they developed farther inside the egg than the ones from 9,000 feet, who were developing in smaller eggs. They had less energy to fuel their growth before they left the egg, so they made fewer suckers, says Voight. Seeing these physical manifestations of octopuses food limitation provides a hint of how they might fare as climate change progresses and the octopuses food supply fluctuates.

Voight notes that this study, which shows that different-looking octopuses can still be the same genetic species, could help researchers down the line trying to identify life forms in the deep sea. Remotely operated vehicles collect video footage of the ocean floor, and it can be used to estimate the number of species present if we know what they look like. Thats why, Voight says, its so important to examine specimens in person and use characteristics you cant see on video to identify species boundaries.

Theres still just so much we dont know about the deep sea. We need to be able to understand the information thats becoming available from ROV footage. And we can only do it by knowing what the animals look like.

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The deeper the octopus the wartier the skin - SciTech Europa

Mike Babcock on William Nylander’s start to the season, the challenge vs. Tampa Bay, Patrick Marleau signing in San Jose & Rasmus Sandin’s play -…

Mike Babcock addressed the media after practice on Wednesday, discussing the challenge ahead against Tampa Bay, William Nylanders impressive start to the season, Patrick Marleau signing in San Jose, the teams third line, and more.

How good of a hockey league is this that you go from St. Louis one night to what you are going to see tomorrow night and how you guys match up against this challenge?

Babcock: Itll be good. I really liked our St. Louis game. I thought we played well. I thought we did a ton of good things. Youve got to win in the end. Bottom line is thats what the good teams do they just hang around and hang around and find a way to win. We didnt, so weve got to take a lesson from that, but there were lots of good things in that game. Ive liked three of our four games. I didnt like our Montreal game. Now weve got to get ready for a good Tampa team. It should be a lot of fun. We usually have good games against Tampa.

Its early in the season, but do you see a hungrier player in William so far?

Babcock: Were talking about hunger? Like, he wasnt here. It was hard to be hungry. Hows that? When you get here and the league is going 900 and youre going 20, shes tough. I just think that Willy last game won a bunch of races and a bunch of battles. When he wins races and wins battles, he has the puck. Sometimes you have the puck because other guys get it to you, but if you want to have the puck all the time, you can count on your teammates a bit, but youve got to count on yourself. The more he goes to get it with his speed, his tenacity, his stick lifts and with his contact in those traffic areas, the more he is going to have the puck and the more dynamic hell be.

Are you going to keep Spezza and Petan in the lineup here?

Babcock: Whatever we did last game, thats what were doing this game.

What did you see that you are breaking the rotation?

Babcock: Theyve had two apiece. We gave everybody a real One of the reasons we play eight exhibition games the NHL guys are playing four is that it gives us a real fair chance to evaluate everyone else. Any way you look at it, guys have had quite a bit. Not only do we want to be right, we want to give the guys a fair chance. We think weve done that. That doesnt mean itll be the same next game, but that is what were doing.

What was your reaction to the San Jose Sharks bringing back Patrick Marleau?

Babcock: Yeah, it was good. I texted him back and forth last night. Firstly, its what he wanted and it was what was best for his family. Thats what he wanted when the season was ended. Im glad it has all worked out for him. It probably took longer than he wanted, but he said his wife and kids were really happy. As we all know anybody who has a wife and kids thats a real important thing. Patty wants to keep playing past this year as well, so we wish him luck.

When he went unsigned in the summer, did you guys maybe want to try to bring him back?

Babcock: We were in no position if you remember what was going on through the summer to sign anybody. We never got into any of that. Obviously, he didnt want to play here. He wanted to play in San Jose, where his family is going back to. That took us out of that mix.

When you look back at his time here, what is kind of the big overarching takeaway from it?

Babcock: Well, John Tavares came here. Everyone can speculate on why guys come, but when youve got people to come from other organizations like Patty did, that starts it. And then you move on from there. To me, that was a big part of it.

I thought he really helped out our young guys. He gave us a real good pro an example of how to eat, how to workout, how to train, how to practice so we could get on the process of changing the culture.

As time goes on and you get more and more guys, and your own guys grow up, it is probably not as important, but it sure was off the start. When Tavares is looking for someone to phone to find out whether he should come here or not, and youve got Patrick Marleau to phone, its a pretty good guy to phone.

Is it passion that makes players so effective at the age of 40, going into a third decade at thispoint?

Babcock: Well, theyre genetic freaks, too. Lets not kid ourselves. You look around the world and the average 40-year-old isnt playing in the NHL. In saying that, youve got to love the game and your family has got to be committed to you loving the game. When youre a pro athlete, it is a lot about you. Theyve got to make that commitment with you. Obviously, theyve all decided this is a good thing for Patty. He is a good player.

The lineup against Tampa isnt necessarily the lineup goingforward, but are you looking forward to Rasmus building with one guy and building a partnership that works for you?

Babcock: I dont think that has anything to do with his play, to be honest with you. I think that he is getting to play with good players. I just think for him, the more minutes he earns, the better opportunity is for him. Get comfortable with the size of the players. There will be a lot to handle there tomorrow no different than the game against St. Louis. But its like anything. It comes on an as-earned basis.

Youve said that youve kind of tested him in a lot of ways. That third period against St. Louis, he played more than he has earlier in the season.

Babcock: Hak is running the backend. No different than Smitty did it, if the coach is comfortable, you get out there. If he is uncomfortable, you dont get out there. Its that simple. There is a confidence when theyre watching and they feel If you make good plays, you keep going out. If he starts getting nervous, you dont go out as much. Thats just how simple it is.

The chemistry on the Kerfoot line has that exceed expectations?

Babcock: No, I expected Kerf to be a real good player and Mikheyev to be a real good player. I think Mooresy has done a good job. We need them to be consistent every single night. That is what we are asking gout of them. I thought they did a real good job in the Montreal game. They werent quite as good in the St. Louis game, but the matchups were different, too.

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Mike Babcock on William Nylander's start to the season, the challenge vs. Tampa Bay, Patrick Marleau signing in San Jose & Rasmus Sandin's play -...

Male breast cancer awareness: Why Beyonce’s father, Mathew Knowles, urges men to get tested – USA TODAY

Mathew Knowles, father to Beyonc and Solange, revealed on "Good Morning America" that he's been battling breast cancer. USA TODAY

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins, few people think about the men affected.

Beyoncs father, Mathew Knowles, revealed on "Good Morning America"Wednesday that he is battling breast cancer and urged other men to get tested for the disease.

The American Cancer Society estimates about 2,670 new cases of invasive male breast cancer will be diagnosed in the USAin 2019, and about 500 men will die from the disease.

Mary Smania, assistant professor at Michigan State University's College of Nursing, said breast cancer in men is extremely rare less than 1% butcarries dangerous consequences.

Should you get a 3D mammogram?: What you should know about how the screening detects breast cancer

The American Cancer Society lists signs and symptoms of male breast cancer:

Sometimes breast cancer can spread and cause swellingunder the arm or around the collar bone, even before the original tumor in the breast isn't big enough to be felt, according to the organization.

"It's a little bit easier to detect," Smania said. "Typically because they don't have the amount of breast tissue that women have."

Routine breast screenings don't exist for men likethey do for women, Smania said, so it's important to see a health care professional with any concerns.

Lyndsay Rhodes, associate professor of biological sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University, said knowing the symptoms is a great first step to early detection.

"Being aware of symptoms can save lives," Rhodes said. "Early detection is key."

Battling cancer for the 3rd time: Olivia Newton-John 'had to learn to walk again' amid stage 4 breast cancer battle

The ACS noted that cells in nearly any part of the body can be susceptible to cancer and can spread to other areas of the body.

The organization's website says cancer can start at different parts of the breast, such in the ducts that carry milkto the nipple or the glands that make breastmilk. Although men's breasts don't produce milk like women's, their bodies havethese ducts and glands.

Smania said the most common form of breast cancer in men is the invasive ductal carcinoma, which the ACS said starts in the milk duct, breaks through the wall of the duct,then grows into the fatty tissue of the breast where it has the potential to spread.

An athlete's battle: Syracuse basketball star perseveres in breast cancer fight

When a man is diagnosed with breast cancer, Smania said, doctors usually do genetic testing as well to determine if he carries BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, also known by the National Breast Cancer Foundation as the "Breast Cancer Gene."

These mutations are genetic and can be passed down to children, which would significantly increase the chances of a daughter having breast cancer, Smania said.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation said 55%-65% of women with the BRCA1 mutation and about 45%with the BRCA2 mutation will develop breast cancer by the age of 70.

"Education in this matter is critical," Rhodes said."Men are statistically less likely to have a primary care physician, go to yearly examsor conduct self breast exams."

'Im lucky to be alive': '90210' star Shannen Doherty gets candid on breast cancer battle


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Male breast cancer awareness: Why Beyonce's father, Mathew Knowles, urges men to get tested - USA TODAY

50 Years of Life Sciences Innovation: PMI’s Top 10 Impactful Biotech Projects – BioSpace

The Project Management Institute (PMI) announced its 2019 Most Influential Projects list. This ranking cites the most impactful projects from the past 50 years, with the World Wide Web hitting the #1 spot followed by Apollo 11, and including such projects as Walt Disney World, Harry Potter, World of Warcraft and the Sydney Opera House.

The list is also broken out into subcategories, including biotech. Heres a look at the biotech list.

#1. Human Genome Project. This ranked #5 on their overall list, and it indeed is one of the most influential life science projects, changing and informing healthcare and biology as we know it. One simple example is the overturning of the central dogmawhich up until the completion of the project, was that one gene coded for one protein. Since there were about a hundred thousand known proteins, scientists had concluded there must be the same number of genes. However, it turned out that in human beings, there were about 30,000 genes and they are read in a variety of unexpected ways to code for those 100,000-plus genes.

The project launched officially in 1990 and drew on laboratories and institutions from around the world, including from the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the UKs Sanger Centre (later the Wellcome Sanger Institute) and 17 university and laboratory sequencing centers.

#2. First IVF Baby. This year was the 41st birthday of the first so-called test tube baby, Louise Brown, who was born on July 25 in 1978. The process is in vitro fertilization. Now commonplace, the procedure was incredibly controversial at the time. Louises mother, Lesley Brown, hadnt been able to conceive naturally as the result of blocked Fallopian tubes. She had been trying to conceive for nine years when she signed up for IVF, which was then an experimental procedure. She was one of 282 women who tried the procedure. At that time, doctors attempted 457 egg collections, but only 167 cycles led to fertilization. From 12 embryos that were successfully implanted, five became pregnant. Louise was the only live birth. Since then, about six million children have been born via IVF.

#3. CRISPR. CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, which is otherwise a fast and easy way to edit DNA. CRISPR-Cas9 allows researchers to easily identify specific gene sequences, clip them out and replace them. It has been cited as one of the most important and recent discoveries that could lead to new therapies and treatments for numerous diseases. In November 2018, it hit the spotlight with a major controversy when He Jiankui, a researcher in Shenzhen, China, announced he had utilized CRISPR-Cas9 to alter the DNA of embryos for seven couples. He used CRISPR to disable a gene called CCR5. CCR5 codes for a protein that allows HIV to enter a cell. In theory, the children born from the procedure should be resistant to HIV. The fathers all had HIV infections that were strongly suppressed by standard HIV drugs. The announcement was met by wide international condemnation, the eventual moratorium on using CRISPR germline editing, and He Jiankui being investigated by the Chinese government.

#4. Genetic Fingerprinting. Perhaps more accurately described now as forensic DNA analysis, genetic fingerprinting is a way of using DNA samples in criminal investigations to identify perpetrators (and victims). It was first introduced in 1984 by a researcher at the University of Leicester in the UK, Alec Jeffreys. The first practical application was in a 1985 immigration case, which was followed by a paternity case. The first criminal forensic case was applied to the case of two girls who were raped and murdered in the Enerby area of Leicestershire. There was a confession for one of the murders. They used the forensic test in an attempt to prove he committed the second, but unexpectedly, the test proved he was innocent of both murders. The police force then conducted blood draws and genetic profiles on the entire male population of that area. Again, no matches were found until a man named Colin Pitchfork bragged about how he had convinced a friend to provide the sample. He was a match for both rape and murders.

#5. 23andMe. 23andMe was founded in 2006 by Linda Avey, Paul Cusenza and Anne Wojcicki. It began by marketing a saliva-based direct-to-consumer personal genome test. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) forced the company to pull it from the market because it was advertised as a medical device, which required FDA approval, which 23and Me did not have. The kits are still available, but health-related reports that came with it were no longer included. The company has since inked deals with major pharma companies, such as Pfizer, to use its genomics data in disease and drug research and development. In March 2018, the FDA approved 23andMes BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetics tests as the first-ever FDA approval for a DTC consumer genetic test for cancer risk, in this case, breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.

#6. Dolly. Although it seems like a distant memory, Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned from the cell of an adult. This was in 1996. Dolly was a sheep. Dolly was cloned by researchers at The Roslin Institute who were working to develop a better way to produce genetically modified livestock. The research was led by Ian Wilmut. Dolly was cloned from a cell acquired from the mammary gland of a six-year-old Finn Dorset sheep and an egg from a Scottish Blackface sheep. She was born to her Scottish Blackface surrogate mother on July 5, 1996. Oddly enough, because her DNA was taken from a mammary gland cell, she was named after country singer Dolly Parton.

#7. Engineered Organ. In 1999, Anthony Atala and his research group grew bladders in the laboratory and successfully implanted them into patients. Atala is the W.H. Boyce professor and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and chair of the Department of Urology. Atala and his team took a bladder biopsy from each patient, isolated muscle and specialized urothelial cells, and grew them in the laboratory. They then implanted them onto a bladder-shaped scaffold where they grew for seven to eight weeks. They then attached the engineered bladder to the patients own bladder and followed the progress for up to five years. The bladder function improved without any of the side effects generally linked to implanting bowel tissue. The research paved the way for bioprinting of organs.

#8. Beyond Meat Burger. Beyond Meat developed a plant-based burger that mimics the taste of hamburger. The first plant-based burger was sold commercially in 2016. As of June 2019, the company had a $10 billion market cap and led the way for a variety of other companies to produce what are essentially genetically-modified vegetables that use a variety of ingredients, such as heme, to mimic the taste of beef. Although nutritionally about the same as beeftypically they have caloric levels similar to beef, with higher carbohydrate and salt levels with generally lower fat levelsthe primary benefit is taking animals out of the protein production chain, which may have benefits for decreasing climate change.

#9. Golden Rice. The Golden Rice Project notes that Golden Rice is the first purposefully created biofortified food. The technology behind Golden Rice was donated in 2000 by its inventors, Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer. Golden Rice is a not-for-profit project that involved genetically modified rice to address vitamin A deficiency, which affects about 250 million children around the world. Potrykus was then a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, teamed with Peter Beyer from the University of Freiberg in Germany.

#10. Kymriah. Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to identify Immunotherapy or Immuno-Oncology as one of the projects, rather than Novartis Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), even though Kymriah was the first CAR-T immuno-oncology therapy approved. The entire field of immuno-oncology has exploded in the last decade, revolutionizing cancer treatments and is beginning to make progress in other indications as well. The other approved CAR-T product is Gilead Sciences Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel). They are approved for slightly different, but sometimes overlapping patient populations. Kymria is approved for pediatric and young adult acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and for recurrently relapsing (r/r) aggressive lymphomas. Yescarta is approved for similar aggressive lymphomas.

CAR-T is a type of therapy where blood samples are taken from a patient, the patients white blood cells are processed to be supercharged to attack their cancer cells, then reinfused into the patient. It is a type of living therapy where the patients immune system is programmed to better attack the cancer.

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50 Years of Life Sciences Innovation: PMI's Top 10 Impactful Biotech Projects - BioSpace

The Blue in the Pink: Busting Myths About Male Breast Cancer – UNLV NewsCenter

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicks off this October, a UNLV public health professor is reminding people that men are also at risk.

Statistics show that about 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, leading to it be seen primarily as a womans disease.

But that view unintentionally creates a health disparity for men, who with a lifetime risk of developing breast cancer sitting at about 1 in 883 often face barriers to diagnosis and treatment due to a lack of awareness among the general public, policymakers, and health care professionals, says Marya Shegog, director of health programs at The Lincy Institute at UNLV.

We recently sat down with Shegog to talk about her new collaboration with University of Alabama professor Raheem Paxton and the Male Breast Cancer Coalition that delved into the survivor stories of nearly 200 men who faced misdiagnoses, reduced access to care, and stigma to learn more about this phenomenon and what can be done about it.

Men account for less than 1% of all breast cancer diagnoses in the United States which consequently leads many in society to view it solely as a "womans disease.

When men are diagnosed, in a very odd way their masculinity is questioned or challenged. Often the response is, Well, youre a man. Or are you a girl now? When talking about stigma, one gentleman shared the story of how he was leading a breast cancer fundraiser yet was still afraid to come out and say he had it too.

Equally troubling, this lack of awareness creates an inability for doctors to diagnose men because when they see symptoms they dont immediately think of breast cancer as being a potential cause.

The medical community has only recently began to hypothesize that hereditary breast cancer might extend to men too, and that men can not only carry the gene but it could express itself. In one of the survivor stories we encountered, it turned out that a man who was finally diagnosed after a lengthy series of misdiagnoses looked at his family tree and realized his mother plus 12 other female relatives had been diagnosed with breast cancer. As a result, he encouraged his younger male relatives to seek genetic testing and they found out that they carried the gene as well.

Theres a lack of consideration when it comes to men and the possibility of having breast cancer.

One man first found the lump while undergoing a pre-authorization physical to play high school football. The doctor said, Thats just you becoming a man. Itll go away. So, the man ignored the lump throughout college and it wasnt until he got his first job with health insurance that he went back to a doctor and received a breast cancer diagnosis. Hed had the lump for six years, cutting survival rates and options for treatment. Luckily, it had not metastasized.

The majority of the policies and qualifiers for breast cancer treatment are female-focused, so even when a man is diagnosed early on his pathway to treatment and recovery can be confounded. One example is a survivor in South Carolina who couldnt qualify treatment because Medicaid policy requires that patients have a pap smear prior to obtaining breast cancer treatment.

Insurance is a part of the business of healthcare, so they create a set of guidelines that just checks boxes whether theres human interaction or not. For example, an insurance salesperson who was surprised that his own policy was retroactively canceled. Yet another person who called to get approval for a mastectomy was told that the insurance company doesnt approve of sex-reassignment surgery.

Some policies require mammograms, which compresses the breast between two plates. Now, imagine that for a mans breast, which is so much smaller than most womens. One man recounted how bruised he was from the mammogram. And to make matters worse, the post-recovery kit included a pink ice pack with instructions to tuck it into your bra. The person performing the procedure just handed it to him without considering finding a way for the male patient to effectively adhere it to the skin, perhaps with compression tape or an elastic bandage.

Sometimes in our vigor to address a health disparity, we can create another one. If our clinicians arent prepared or dont have the skills to readily identify breast cancer in patients, it means that men are going without getting checked this creates a complication in itself and cuts men out of the picture.

The story surrounding breast cancer has been solely women-focused and therefore omits the opportunity for men to share the story. And that means theyre omitted from the narrative and from treatment.

With gender roles, a man having breast cancer has nothing to do with his level of masculinity or sexuality. The fact that our society makes that statement is problematic in the least.

Years ago, women were dying of breast cancer in large numbers simply because doctors hadnt figured out the science behind it. My suspicion is there are now more men dying from cancer that may have started in their breast than what we know and its simply because theyre not being tested until the cancer has metastasized.

Men and women and especially parents everyone needs to know that breast cancer does not discriminate for just women. Policies around breast cancer need to be considered without gender bias. They need to be written in a way that anybody whos diagnosed can get treatment in an expeditious manner.

I think health care professionals need to change their focus. They need to be taught and be aware that its genetic. So much of our preventative measures include gene mapping. Men who may be at risk need to know theyre at risk and they need to be tested so they can act accordingly.

When women get a physical, theyre asked to fill out a form that includes questions about family history surrounding breast cancer. The same informational posters hanging in OBGYN offices need to be hanging in general practitioners offices so that men can be aware too. Those family history questions about breast cancer should be universal.

Everyone men and women alike should know their risk for getting breast cancer. And if they are at high risk, make sure theyre proactive with screenings annually or genetic testing. Really, its about knowing your risk and what you can do to prevent it.

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The Blue in the Pink: Busting Myths About Male Breast Cancer - UNLV NewsCenter

‘We don’t want to be guinea pigs’: how one African community is fighting genetically modified mosquitoes –

But until recently, villagers did not know how malaria was transmitted. So when scientists came into the village in 2012 saying they wanted to fight the disease, many were thrilled.

At first, we didn't even know it was only the female mosquitoes who could spread malaria. They gave us information, they gave us advice to sleep under mosquito nets, Sanou said.

In the years since, researchers have conducted countless meetings explaining what malaria is, how it is transmitted, and what genetic modification is. Linguists had to translate such concepts as gene into the local Dioula language, which had no precise word for it. It took years to create tools for consent, with no precedents in Africa.

Yet several villagers anonymously told the Telegraph they had not been made aware of any risks associated with the experiment. They didnt tell us about the risks, only the advantages, a farmer said while tending to his corn.

Environmentalists warn that, in a village which depends on agriculture to survive, removing just one species of mosquitoes could disrupt the whole ecosystem in unforeseeable ways.

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Read Girls Who Run The World Book Excerpt: Poo-Pourri – Refinery29

HER BUSINESS: Sprays and potions that turn lifes stinks (human and cat poo, sweat-stanky shoes) into fresh, happy scents. And the latest addition: home cleaning products.VERY FIRST JOB: Burger King, but I didnt get to work the window, because I wasnt cute enough [in the words of her twenty-year-old male manager.... Whatever!].AS A KID, WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: Fashion designer, but I didnt even know that was a job.A WEIRD THING YOULL FIND ON (OR IN) MY DESK: Incense and palo santo sticks (removes negative energy) and tarot cards or runes.HIGH SCHOOL GPA: Cminus at best (total grading on a curve).MY BEDTIME: Nine-thirty p.m. (I wake up at five-thirty a.m.)ON MY BUCKET LIST: Visiting Bhutan.A GUILTY PLEASURE: Mexican food, which I rarely eat.FAVORITE CANDY: Salted caramel.FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BOOK: Nancy Drew mysteries.AN EXPRESSION I USE A LOT THAT PEOPLE KNOW ME FOR: Anything is possiblefind a way!HOW OFTEN I CHECK MY BANK STATEMENT: Um, never. I havent balanced my checkbook since I was nineteen years old.A TOOL I ALWAYS WANT TO HAVE IN MY HOUSE: A thirty-foot-long duster. I have a cobweb now thats in one of the peaks of my house and its driving me crazy. If you have a duster, please send it over.ADVICE ID GIVE TO MY THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD SELF: Nothing is ever as bad as it seems right now; it will all change. It always does.

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Solving the mosquito problem – Excalibur Online

Dylan Stoll |Health Editor

Featured Image:Mosquitos are responsible for over 750,000 deaths per year. | Pixabay

When the movie Jaws was first released in 1975, it struck a very specific and poignant fear of sharks in the people who watched it. As most from that time period can attest to, everybody was afraid to go in the water after seeing the box-office hit for fear of meeting first-hand the gnashing and thrashing, bone-crushing and flesh-tearing teeth of the great white shark. Today, that same fear persists. The shark has forever been ingrained in our minds as a terror of the open sea, as one of our greatest foes with a penchant for human flesh, but is that terror misplaced?

What we should really fear isnt a 1,000-kilogram bundle of muscle and teeth, but a much smaller, and surprisingly much less manageable, five-milligram creature: the mosquito.

Everybody who is reading this has more than likely had their blood rudely and obnoxiously stolen by one of these terrible little monsters. We all hate them, and we all know why. Theyre annoying; they make that high pitched sound when they get near you, but most importantly; their bite leaves you with a relentlessly itchy bump that torments even the toughest of us.

But is that why you should fear the mosquito? Not exactly. It isnt the bite specifically that should scare you, but rather, what the bite may contain.

Mosquitos carry some of the most dangerous diseases known to mankind. These include: malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, filariasis, tularemia, dirofilariasis, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Ross River fever, Barmah Forest fever, La Crosse encephalitis, and Zika fever, as well as the recently discovered Keystone virus and Rift Valley fever.

As a result, they are responsible for over 750,000 human deaths per year, a significant amount more than the measly six deaths per year attributed to those dastardly vicious sharks.

And you may think that these diseases are contained within other countries, but youve thought wrong. Western, Eastern, and St. Louis Equine Encephalitis, as well as West Nile viruses have all been found in Canadian mosquitos, with West Nile being the most prevalent.

Although the mosquito is a difficult creature to manage, there are measures that have been put in place to keep the populations under control. In the spirit of bringing things closer to home, since the beginning of June, York has been conducting a larvicide program under the authority of the local medical officer of health that will continue until the end of October. Methoprene pellets have been placed into all university catch basins, and Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis, another type of larvicide, has been applied in granular form to specific bodies of surface water, which were chosen based on their mosquito larval content.

As for large-scale control in other countries, some interesting ideas have come to the table and have even been implemented.

One such idea is the genetic modification of non-biting male mosquitoes. The plan was to modify their DNA in such a way as to pass on a gene that would kill their offspring before sexual maturity. The ambitious venture was completed by a company known as Oxitec, which conducted a large field trial in Brazil, specifically in the city of Jacobina. They released 450,000 GM mosquitoes per week from 2013 to 2015 and they reported a 90 per cent reduced overall population.

Another method is sterilization. Dr. Andrew Donini, a professor at York who studies mosquitoes, explained the process further: The sterile males compete with regular wild males for females with the idea that females will be inseminated with sterile sperm. The eggs these females lay are unfertilized because the sperm is no good, therefore they will never produce any hatchlings/larvae. Ive read that this has been effective over the short term but one would have to keep releasing lots of sterile males to lower populations levels.

The aforementioned methods are most likely the least invasive in terms of the environment and surrounding speciesspecies that include us. There are, however, other population controllers that are much more invasive and are still in use today.

To this day some governments still spray with pesticides, clarified Donini. A good recent example is the mysterious sickness that US and Canadian diplomats experienced while working in Cuba. It turns out a study has linked that to pesticide fumigation for mosquitoes. The diplomats were exposed to levels of the pesticide that ultimately gave them a neurological illness.

As for the individual who still wishes to enjoy the outdoors without a PhD in genetics or a tank full of toxic pesticides, Donini advises that you do everything the government health agencies recommend: Dont get bit. Wear long sleeves, long pants, use DEET, and prevent stagnant water around your house.

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Solving the mosquito problem - Excalibur Online

Arrest made in death of Federal Way teen nearly 30 years after her body was found – Seattle Times

DNA found on two cigarette butts was the evidence King County sheriffs detectives said they needed to make an arrest in the homicide of Sarah Yarborough, a 16-year-old drill-team member who was found strangled on the campus of Federal Way High School nearly three decades ago.

Patrick Leon Nicholas was charged Thursday with first-degree murder with sexual motivation, according to King County prosecutors. Nicholas is accused of killing Yarborough while attempting to commit second-degree rape, the charges say.

Yarborough was strangled with her nylons on Dec. 14, 1991, and male DNA was found on several items of her clothing near her body, charging papers say. Nicholas, a 55-year-old Covington man, was 27 at the time of her death and lived six miles from the high school, according to the charges.

In the 28 years since Yarboroughs slaying, sheriffs detectives have submitted male DNA found at the crime scene for analysis numerous times. But there was never a match.

Then last week, Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick, a forensic genealogist based in Fountain Valley, California, who has worked before on the Yarborough case, contacted Detective Kathleen Decker of the sheriffs Major Crimes Unit saying there was a promising lead on a person of interest, the charges say. Fitzpatrick and two other genealogists identified Nicholas and his brother through a family tree analysis based on the DNA from the Federal Way crime scene and provided Decker with the brothers names.

Both brothers have blond hair and blue eyes, matching composite drawings sheriffs detectives releasedin February 2018after investigators determined Yarboroughs killer was of Northern European descent and most likely had blue or green eyes based on genetic markers in the previously unknown DNA.

Decker determined Nicholas older brother a Level 2 sex offender who had been convicted of first-degree rape could not be Yarboroughs killer because his DNA was entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) years ago, and regular comparisons to DNA from the Yarborough crime scene never produced a hit, the charges say.

Patrick Nicholas has never submitted a DNA sample for entry into CODIS despite having a criminal record, the charges say. He was convicted in 1983 of attempted first-degree rape in Benton County and was released from prison in 1987. He was also charged in 1994 with first-degree child molestation but later pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault, court records show.

After identifying Nicholas as a suspect in Yarboroughs death, detectives began watching him. On Sunday, a detective saw Nicholas smoking a cigarette outside a Kent dry-cleaning business and retrieved the butt from the ground, charging papers say. A short time later, Nicholas walked out of the business, smoked a second cigarette and unknowingly dropped a napkin on the ground, and both items were collected by the same detective, according to the charges.

On Monday, Decker took the items to the State Patrol Crime Lab for DNA testing and on Wednesday, a scientisttold Decker DNA found on the cigarette butts matched DNA from the Yarborough crime scene, according to the charges.

Countless hours have been spent by law enforcement attempting to solve this horrific crime that impacted our community in a way that few people have forgotten. Patrick Leon Nicholas has lived for the last several years in a dilapidated building on a large piece of property with few community ties, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Erin Ehlert wrote in charging papers. If he does not remain in custody, he has every reason to attempt to flee and avoid prosecution as he has done for the last 27 years. His crime was one of opportunity and extreme violence and he will always be considered a danger to our community.

Nicholas DNA will be entered into CODIS and compared to DNA from other unsolved cases, Ehlert wrote.

He was arrested at a Kent sports bar on Wednesday and was booked into the King County Jail, court and jail records show. Prosecutors have requested that his bail be set at $5 million.

Laura Yarborough, Sarahs mother, attended a Thursday news conference at the King County Sheriffs Office in downtown Seattle and thanked all of the detectives who have worked on her daughters case for their dogged determination.

Theyve been so professional and kind to our family. They never gave up, even when I gave up, Laura Yarborough said.

She was surprised when she got the call Wednesday night with news that an arrest had been made in connection with her daughters homicide.

I think for me, Im still a little numb. Im sure other feelings will follow, Yarborough said.

She said her daughter loved life, people and traveling. Sarah was an excellent student, always had a book at hand, and was excited about going off to college.

Sarahs friends, Yarborough said, have remained in touch with the family over the years and have maintained a Facebook page seeking justice for Sarah.

Her friends were very impacted by this. They were young and it was scary, she said.

According to charging papers:

On a cold Saturday morning in December 1991, Yarborough drove to Federal Way High School and parked in the back lot. She and other members of her drill team were to board a bus for an event at Juanita High School in Kirkland.

She arrived early a witness saw her pull in around 8:10 a.m., though the bus wasnt to depart until 9. At 8:20 a.m., another witness noticed her car engine was warm, despite the frigid temperatures.

A man jogging near the tennis courts at the high school looked over and saw a girl lying motionless on the ground, a man kneeling beside her and touching the girls breasts and thighs. The jogger thought they were a couple making out so jogged on but later provided a suspect description to police.

Then around 9:15 a.m., two 12-year-old boys were cutting through the campus on their way to the store when a man stepped out of the bushes. Both boys got a good look at him before he walked away. The boys saw Yarboroughs body and ran home and told their parents.

One parent called 911 and another walked back with the boys to the crime scene.

Yarboroughs body was found maybe 100 yards from her car, and there was no reason for her to have walked in that direction, which means she was either lured or dragged to her death, police believe.

Over the years, investigators received more than 4,000 tips about the case. After Nicholas was identified through his DNA, his name was run through the tip database but no one had ever mentioned him, the charges say.

Though charging papers dont detail how Fitzpatrick and her fellow genealogists identified Nicholas, in the past year, law enforcement has identified suspects through the DNA of relatives, who used sites such as or 23andMe to generate their own DNA profiles then uploaded them to GEDmatch, a public genetic-genealogy website.

Genetic genealogy, which utilizes DNA testing and traditional genealogical methods to establish familial relationships, led to the arrest last year of Joseph James DeAngelo, the alleged serial rapist and killer known as the Golden State Killer in California. Closer to home, genetic genealogy led to the arrest of Earl Talbot II of SeaTac in the November 1987 slaying of Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18, and 20-year-old Jay Cook, a young Canadian couple. Talbot was convicted of murder in Snohomish County Superior Court and was sentenced to two life terms in July.

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Arrest made in death of Federal Way teen nearly 30 years after her body was found - Seattle Times

How Genetics Paint A Picture Of The Jewish Past – Forward

From the time of the Babylonian Exile, Jews have been spread far and wide, carrying with us mementos of our ancient past in our blood, spit and the microscopic double helix of our DNA. Among the best tools the Chosen People have for finding a link to antiquity is bleeding-edge technology that analyzes our genes and while that tech is new, its largely confirmed a familiar story of shared roots in the Middle East.

Through advancements in mapping the human genome and the study of traditionally diseases like Tay-Sachs, scientists and historians are closer than ever before to learning where the Jewish people originated, and where we ended up.

The science involved in genetic study of Jews has advanced immensely since its early days, when physical anthropologists Joseph Jacobs and Maurice Fishberg studied outward markers like stature, head size and pigmentation, said Harry Ostrer, the director of Genetic and Genomic Testing at Montefiore Medical Center and the author of Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People (2012). Working in the late 19th and early 20th Century, when Fishberg published The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment (1911), his and Jacobs primitive research which had a troubling analogue in the measurements used by Nazi race science was surpassed by a new effort that emerged, fittingly, in Mandatory Palestine.

After moving to Palestine in the 1930s, Chaim Sheba and other physician investigators observed that the Jewish communities flocking to the land from across the globe did not much resemble each other. Sheba and colleagues believed these differences ought to be studied. This work culminated in 1961, when Sheba and geneticist Elisabeth Goldschmidt held the Conference on Human Population Genetics in Jerusalem.

By the 1970s, studies using blood groups conducted by researchers like Arthur Mourant and Batsheva Bonne-Tamir advanced our understanding of Jewish common ancestry, as did studies in the 1990s focused on matrilineal mitochondrial DNA and patrilineal Y chromosomes. But it wasnt until Jewish genomes, an individuals entire genetic code, started being analyzed in the 2000s, following the breakthroughs of the Human Genome Projects push to map all human genes, that this knowledge became less abstract.

Before genome-wide analyses, There was a real lack of precision, Ostrer told the Forward over the phone. The Y chromosomal and mitochondrial studies supported the idea, for instance, for European Jews, that they had both Middle Eastern and European origins. But it just wasnt with the degree of accuracy or precision that happened when the genome-wide studies were done.

Ostrers initiative, the Jewish HapMap Project, is one of a number of studies propelled by advancements in genomic technology, which can now determine the order 20,000 genes (and 3 billion nucleotide base pairs) at one time in around one to two months. In recent years, these efforts have yielded insights into the inter-connectedness of the Jewish people.

Part of why that research is so fascinating is its telling us about aspects of Jewish history that are not recorded in texts or reflected in archaeology, said Steven Weitzman, the Ella Darivoff director of the Katz Center of Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of The Origin of the Jews: The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age (2017).

Weitzman, who collaborated with Stanford geneticists in his research, noted a few early landmark studies that seemed to confirm traditional narratives, that link Jewish Diasporic communities to common tribal ancestors in modern day Israel. One of the earliest, from 1997, was a Y-chromosomal analysis of Kohanim, which indicated a common male ancestor some 3,000 years ago.

That doesnt mean that ancestor is Aaron as Jewish tradition would indicate and its since been challenged but it was really striking that they could see reflected in the genetic code of these people that they did share a common male ancestor somewhere thousands of years ago.

Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, more ambitious studies have been mounted, Weitzman said, including Doron Behars 2010 attempt to draw a genome-wide map of the Jewish people a goal shared by Ostrers HapMap Project by sampling DNA from 14 global communities. The study found that many of the communities differed genetically from their non-Jewish neighbors and had roots in the Middle East. While that tracks with conventional history, other research, such as a 2013 study by Martin B. Richards, concluded that the matrilineal line of Ashkenazic Jewish descent has its roots in native European women. Behar, who, with Karl Skorecki, had concluded years earlier that 40% of Ashkenazi Jews can trace their origins to four women of Middle Eastern extraction, disagreedwith this assessment.

[Genetics] doesnt necessarily corroborate the traditional Jewish understanding, Weitzman said, but it often does. And thats why some people are a little skeptical. Its been reaffirming a very conservative understanding of Jewish history.

While the majority of scientists and historians support the view that Jews originated in the Middle East, there are vocal skeptics, notably Israeli geneticist Eran Elhaik and Israeli historian Shlomo Sand. Sand and Elhaik subscribe to the Khazar Hypothesis, popularized by author Arthur Koestler, which argues that Ashkenazi Jews are descended from a Turkic people called the Khazars, who converted. Ostrer and the broader scientific community have dismissed this theory, and Elhaiks specific research, as agenda-driven science. Weitzman agrees that the theory presents a weak argument and has been used to discredit Jews and Zionism by distancing Ashkenazim from claims to a Middle Eastern homeland.

The preponderance of evidence, based on a number of studies, indicates a conventional view of Jewish diaspora, Ostrer claims. Jews appear to have migrated east along the Silk Road and across the Arabian Sea and westward into Europe and Northern Africa by way of the Greek and Roman empires. These migrants intermingled with locals sometimes converting them to the faith along the way. Despite this dispersion, Jews remained largely endogamous, marrying within our ethnic group, relative to native populations.

The same endogamy has historically resulted in genetic diseases, which, by medical necessity, have made Jewish genes among the most studied. While Ostrer cautions that some consumer-available genetic tests can be deceptive, appearing to indicate closer kinship between Jews who share deep ancestral lines, he maintains that the testing for potential disease carriers has improved tremendously with companies like JScreen, Invitae and Myriad.

Currently, those with Sephardic and Mizrahi backgrounds (roughly 10% of American Jews) dont have the advantage of seeing that heritage listed in most popular genetic testing service results. But these populations are sufficiently studied by geneticists and often analysis of these groups can lead to interesting places. Recently, disease mutations like BRCA 1 and 2 and hereditary ovarian and breast cancer typically found in Jews have been surfacing among Latino populations in the United States.

In a 2011 paper, Ostrer and his colleague Christopher Velez argued that these genetic predispositions were carried to the New World by Converso Jews in the late 15th century. New research from 2018 appeared to confirm this, finding that a wide swath of Latin Americans have ancestry from newly-converted Christians.

Overall, DNA testing and studies have enriched the Jewish historical record beyond potsherds and texts dating back to the Greek and Roman period. But while these science-based tools are often less ambiguous than previous historical documents, they have not been embraced by all historians. The reason, ironically enough, is recent history.

Theres a lot of resistance to [genetic research] within the field of Jewish studies, Weitzman said. A lot of people remember or have in mind the role of race science in Nazism. So the idea that Jewish scholars would look in any way to genetics to understand Jewish identity or Jewish history and origins can make people concerned.

PJ Grisar is the Forwards culture fellow. He can be reached at

This story "How Genetics Paint A Picture Of The Jewish Past" was written by PJ Grisar.

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How Genetics Paint A Picture Of The Jewish Past - Forward