Archives for posts with tag: mutation

Messages in your DNA can give geographic clues to your family’s past, creating a ‘GPS’ for your genes. This uses software to locate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs – changes in single letters in the DNA code) that have mutated in the past and have then been passed on to a population in a specific place. The researchers believe that this allows people’s origin to be placed on a map on the basis of their genetic information alone.

According to researchers from Tel Aviv and Los Angeles, they can work out where you originate from using software and your genes, creating a kind of genetic ‘GPS’.  The researchers have used a software tool called spatial ancestry analysis (SPA) to locate mutations from the past that can be linked with a specific geographic location, even down to finding your parents’ ancestry too.

CompassThis could be used to trace a change that leads to disease in a specific population, or track the historic movement of human and animal populations. Read the original research in Nature Genetics.

Some people feel no pain – this is known as congenital analgesia. Though this might sound like an advantage, people with this condition may not know when they are injured or have an internal problem such as appendicitis.It can also lead to bullying and psychological problems. Congenital analgesia can be caused by a mutation in SCN9A, and this gene is also linked with lack of sense of smell (congenital anosmia).

Researchers have found four new mutations in people with migraines without aura, the most common form of migraine. Other studies have also found links between migraine and genes on the X chromosome, which might explain why more women get migraine than men.

man with a headacheRead the paper in Nature Genetics.

Around 5-10% of the population in the Solomon Islands is blond, and it was thought to be from European ancestors, but researchers have found that it is a separate gene, on chromosome 19.

The research was published in Science.

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