Scientists Find Genes that Link to Migraine Headaches

A genome-wide association study reveals that there are three specific genes that appear more frequently in the DNA of migraine sufferers than in the genes of those who do not get migraine headaches. One of these genes only seems to affect women. It is entirely possible that a person can inherit those genes from her parents, and end up having migraines. Does someone in your family suffer from migraines? Chances are that person is female, and that she is not the only female relative or ancestor on your family tree that has a tendency to get these debilitating types of … Continue reading

Researchers Make Discoveries About Causes of Premature Birth

A team of researchers has found a genetic variation that seem to be associated with a risk of premature birth. Another team of researchers finds that premature birth risk runs in families. You may want to speak with your relatives to see how great a risk of premature birth runs in your family. Scientists in the United States and Finland published a study that they hope can someday lead to a test that would identify women who were are risk of a pre-term birth. One of the things the researchers looked at was human evolution. The scientific name for humans … Continue reading

Researchers Find Link Between Genetic Makeup and Depression

Depression is something that appears to run in families. If you are someone who has a tendency to suffer from some form of depression, you might be able to think of at least one other relative who also has experienced depressive episodes as well. It’s possible to be depressed, and have no idea why you feel so sad. A new study finds that your susceptibility to depression is in your genes. Whether you are feeling sad due to a seasonal depression, or as a response to a stressful event, one thing is true. Depression is something to take seriously. There … Continue reading

Your Family Is Tall Due To Genetics

I’ve always heard that if you want to know how tall a child will be, you should look at their parents. I think that a lot of people have held the belief that height, or lack thereof, runs in families. A new study reveals insight into the genetics that are involved with height. I am just barely over five feet tall, (five feet, three inches, to be exact). My mother and sister are both about my height, give or take an inch or two. My grandmothers were both short as well. On the other hand, a good friend of mine … Continue reading

Hyperemesis Gravidarum: Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Some things about pregnancy have nothing to do with genetics. For example, if your mother had a son first, that doesn’t mean you will have a son first. Or if your mother had a ten pound baby, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a ten pound baby. Just because your mother had to have a c-section doesn’t mean you will, too. The list goes on! But, some things are linked to genetics. It turns out that if your mother suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, your risk of developing the same debilitating morning sickness is three times the normal rate. A … Continue reading

A High Fat Diet May Increase Breast Cancer Risk for Two Generations

Researchers are constantly studying pregnancy and how different lifestyles and choices impact the health of the mother and the child. A major focus is often on the food that a pregnant woman eats, whether it’s the quantity or the quality. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase,“You are what you eat,” and it’s never been more true. Recent research has led experts to believe that what you eat during your pregnancy, specifically junk food and how much of it you consume, can effect not only your daughter’s chances of getting breast cancer in the future, but her daughter’s chances as well. … Continue reading

Book Review: Weaving a Family Untangling Race and Adoption

Barbara Katz Rothman is a sociologist. Much of her work has focused on the meaning of motherhood—ranging from studies of the modern midwifery movement, to the consumer pressure to buy for one’s offspring, to the Human Genome Project and the impact of genetics on identity and culture. These two interests– what it means to be a mother and what genes have to do with identity–merged when Rothman and her husband adopted an African-American infant. Rothman’s book Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption shares her insights, both professional and personal, on transracial adoption. Rothman’s title is inspired by the experience … Continue reading

Designer Babies Are Now Available

Well, we knew it was going to happen, it was just a matter of when. I think diversity breeds beauty literally. Think of all of the high fashion models out there that have bizarre features that somehow come together in the exact right way to make them beautiful. Or think about your own baby and how he or she is a perfect mix of the best of everything. However, if that isn’t enough for you, a fertility clinic is now letting you design your baby to a limited degree. Dr. Jeff Steinberg, who operates fertility clinics in New York and … Continue reading

In the Genes?

Last night my daughter was talking about how she wanted to be a mom someday. “But I’ll probably have to take medicine,” she said, making a face, “Because you have to take medicine and Grandma has to take medicine.” Looking back on it, I could have just said something like, “Different people may need different medicine at different times” and been done with it. But I said something that I thought would be reassuring for her, then wondered if maybe it wasn’t. What I said was, “Actually, you know what? Those are the kinds of things you get from genes, … Continue reading

Keeping “Family Issues” In Perspective

It’s hard not to look to heredity or family history to explain the myriad of behavior issues that can come up with our kids. After all, we really WANT to have someone or something to blame so we don’t have to live with the ambiguity and the wondering of why exactly they are behaving the way they are. There is a danger, however, in letting “family issues” and family history takeover and not dealing with our children as individuals living in the here and now. I think of those family issues like a comfy old sweater—it’s so hard not to … Continue reading