Human Genetics

Genetic Double-Agents Are Making You Old

Genetic Double-Agents Are Making You Old

Posted by  | A Day in the Life

We’re getting old. Unprecedented advances in biomedical research and technology over the last century have increased the average human lifespan in the United States by over 50 percent.1 And with more people enrolling in Medicare than prenatal partner yoga, it is vital to understand and improve the health of the aging population. Unfortunately, getting older(...)

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How Lithium Treats Bipolar Disorder

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

Lithium is a first-line treatment for patients with bipolar disorder, which is characterized by mood swings between mania and depression. Although widespread use of lithium to treat mania began around the mid-20th century, we still know relatively little about the compound’s mechanism of action. And we know even less about why lithium fails to treat(...)

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How Genetics Can Inform Future Missions to Mars

Posted by  | Events and Happenings, Perspectives in Research

On May 3, I and four other Johns Hopkins students volunteered with the Personalized Genetics Education Project, or pgEd, at a congressional briefing titled “Enduring the Extremes: Space Travel, Genetics and Astronaut Health.” This briefing, co-hosted by Rep. Louise Slaughter and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, was motivated by NASA’s goal to conduct landing missions to a(...)

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Scientifically Defining Life

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

You may expect that defining something as living or dead would be relatively straightforward, yet nearly every scientist you ask for a definition of what constitutes life will give you a different answer, often emphasizing the importance of their area of expertise. Even with widespread disagreement in the details, generally agreed-upon characteristics of life include(...)

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The Life Lottery

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

One in 292.2 million — those were the odds of winning the recent $1.5 billion Powerball, the largest lottery jackpot ever. As it happens, a few months ago, the medical student class of 2018 was learning about obstetrics, gynecology and reproduction as part of the Genes to Society curriculum, which gave me a newfound appreciation(...)

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Highlights from the 2015 American Society of Human Genetics Conference

Posted by  | Events and Happenings

As the American Society of Human Genetics concluded its 65th annual meeting in Baltimore, the air around the Johns Hopkins McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine still seems to buzz with the excitement of it all. Among the plethora of innovative research and technologies presented, the society devoted some focus to those entities whose existence is(...)

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