Genetics Less than a minute

The Week in Genomics

By Rhonda Reinhart featured image Jonathan Bailey, NHGRI

Y chromosome may add years to a man’s life: New research shows that the Y chromosome could protect against disease (cancer, most notably) and extend a man’s life span. The study, published in Nature Genetics, found that men who lost Y chromosomes in their white blood cells also lost about five years from their life spans.

Mom’s diet at time of conception can alter baby’s DNA: According to a study published this week in Nature, a woman’s nutritional deficiencies at the time of conception can change her baby’s genes permanently. This is the first study to show that an environmental factor during the first few days of development can cause lasting changes in DNA.

Watson the super computer takes on cancer: Using genetic analysis, scientists can attack specific mutations of cancer cells, but with that genetic analysis comes a vast amount of information that needs to be processed. Could the computer famous for embarrassing Jeopardy contestants be the answer?