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Health news:
 
June 2010 - Dec 2013

Minimizing breast cancer risk

May 2010

Time to move beyond salt ?

Salt hypothesis vs. reality

Is sodium bad?

April 2010

Salt studies: the latest score

From Dahl to INTERSALT

Salt hypothesis' story

March 2010

Salt war

Do bone drugs work?

Diabetes vs. drugs, 3:0?

February 2010

The MMR vaccine war: Wakefield vs. ?

Wakefield proceedings: an exception?

Who's afraid of a littl' 1998 study?
 

January 2010

Antibiotic children

Physical activity benefits late-life health

Healthier life for New Year's resolution

 

December 2009

Autism epidemic worsening: CDC report

Rosuvastatin indication broadened

High-protein diet effects

 

November 2009

Folic acid cancer risk

Folic acid studies: message in a bottle?

Sweet, short life on a sugary diet

 

October 2009

Smoking health hazards: no dose-response

C. difficile warning

Asthma risk and waist size in women

 

September 2009

Antioxidants' melanoma risk: 4-fold or none?

Murky waters of vitamin D status

Is vitamin D deficiency hurting you?

 

August 2009

Pill-crushing children

New gut test for children and adults

Unhealthy habits - whistling past the graveyard?

 

July 2009

Asthma solution - between two opposites that don't attract

Light wave therapy - how does it actually work?

Hodgkin's lymphoma in children: better alternatives

 

June 2009

Hodgkin's, kids, and the abuse of power

Efficacy and safety of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's:
behind the hype

Long-term mortality and morbidity after conventional treatments for pediatric Hodgkin's

 

May 2009

Late health effects of the toxicity of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel's true 5-year chances with the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel Hauser Hodgkin's case: child protection or medical oppression?

April 2009

Protection from EMF: you're on your own

EMF pollution battle: same old...

EMF health threat and the politics of status quo
 

March 2009

Electromagnetic danger? No such thing, in our view...

EMF safety standards: are they safe?

Power-frequency field exposure
 

February 2009

Electricity and health

Electromagnetic spectrum: health connection

Is power pollution making you sick?

January 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults useless?

DHA in brain development study - why not boys?

HRT shrinks brains

NEWS ARCHIVE
2009
2008
2007

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October 2008

Ready to meet your DNA in person?

Ever been curious as to how good your genes actually are? That mysterious DNA code hidden deep in your cells that determines what do you look like, how efficient are your basic body functions, and how smart you are? Until now, having anything but very limited in scope genetic tests - parental, ancestry or familial relations - was reserved for those with deep pockets, or those (un)lucky enough who had more comprehensive DNA test paid by their medical insurance.

But things have changed. With the new 23andMe test technology came the price for a detailed personal DNA test within the reach of most folks. For $399, now you can have a snapshot of as many as 600,000 genetic markers revealing to you what no doctor could tell you. A small sample of new information about your body revealed by this saliva test includes:

• your risk level for developing over 90 conditions, including skin, breast or lung cancer, most common forms of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, gallstones, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, uterine fibroids, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, gluten intolerance, lumbar disk disease caused lower back pain, glaucoma, asthma, and so on

• HDL ("good") cholesterol, and CRP (C-reactive protein, internal inflammation marker, indicator of the cardiovascular and other diseases risk) level

• your risk of becoming alcoholic

• nonverbal IQ level

• resistance (yes/no) to malaria or AIDS

• your caffeine metabolism efficiency

• short-term memory function

• your odds of living to 100, and so on.

For starters, genetic marker is an identifiable sequence of genetic material, in the sense that it does vary from one individual to another. It can be a gene, or a portion of it, or simply a sequence of DNA's nucleic acids. There is practically unlimited number of genetic markers that can be selected.

With the excitement of coming step closer of finally be able to see that very core of your body, a few cautionary notes. First off, selection and interpretation of genetic markers is not an exact science yet; it is a complex, and complicated process, often times to some extent partial, or arbitrary.

Second, even assuming exact selection/interpretation, the genes are not a lone factor determining your risk of developing certain disease. Your actual risk is significantly influenced by your nutritional status, exposure levels to toxins, stress and trauma, lifestyle and emotional state.

Furthermore, genes or genetic sequences alone are not the only determinant of the efficiency or characteristics of genetic function. Whether or not they will function or not, and how efficiently, as directly dependant on body's epigenetic function (gene expression), effectively turning the genes on and off. At this point, it is a matter of speculation as to how efficiently 23andMe - and other commercial genetic tests - can track and grasp this dimension of body's genetic function.

That said, having personal genetic test - even with the above limitations - within the reach of ordinary people is a crucial, although still informal step in elevating personal healthcare to another level: away from the guesswork of symptom-treating medicine, and closer to the real thing: a medicine looking for the cause of diseases, with the goal of actually healing, as opposed to life-long dependence on often toxic medications. R

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