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Genetics and Heredity

What We Learned in 2018: Science

It’s not easy to say that any particular scientific development was the most important in a given year. But if we had to choose some highlights, we’d opt for these unforgettable events and findings. A scientist’s use of the Crispr technique set off a global firestorm. We learned more about …

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The Results of Your Genetic Test Are Reassuring. But That Can Change.

A federally-supported database, ClinVar, allows laboratories to publicly share data on genetic mutations and what they are thought to mean. But some companies, like Myriad, which host huge databases on genetic mutations, do not contribute to ClinVar. Even the terminology for DNA variants may not be widely shared. Different labs …

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How an Unlikely Family History Website Transformed Cold Case Investigations

LAKE WORTH, FLA. — On Halloween night in 1996, a man in a skeleton mask knocked on the door of a house in Martinez, Calif., handcuffed the woman who greeted him and raped her. Two weeks later, he called the dental office where she worked. Investigators tried to track him …

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Most White Americans’ DNA Can Be Identified Through Genealogy Databases

The genetic genealogy industry is booming. In recent years, more than 15 million people have offered up their DNA — a cheek swab, some saliva in a test-tube — to services such as 23andMe and Ancestry.com in pursuit of answers about their heritage. In exchange for a genetic fingerprint, individuals …

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