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23andMe contributes to genetic discoveries related to male pattern baldness
Date:6/19/2012

study found that another of the newly associated loci -- in a region of chromosome 17 -- is also associated with Parkinson's disease," added Dr. Hinds. "23andMe was uniquely positioned to further investigate this relationship, thanks to our existing Parkinson's disease community, many of whom have also taken our hair loss survey."

This genomic region is special because it is spanned by a large, common inversion polymorphism -- a long stretch of DNA that is flipped end-to-end in many people. A consequence of this rearrangement is that genes in this region tend to be inherited together, and it is difficult to say whether the shared association is due to variation in a single gene that affects both conditions, or due to variation in two unrelated genes inherited together due to the inversion.

"The study found that even after accounting for this shared association, men were still more likely to report both male pattern baldness and Parkinson's disease than would be expected by chance," continued Dr. Hinds. "This suggests that there may be additional shared genetic or environmental risk factors that predispose towards both conditions," he concluded.

These results continue to validate 23andMe's methodology in combining self-reported data on phenotypes gathered via web-based questionnaires and genotypic data derived from self-collected saliva samples. 23andMe had previously published its first proof-of-concept results in the journal PLoS Genetics in June 2010 which reported novel associations for unusual traits such as asparagus anosmia and photic sneeze reflex and replicated associations for other common genetic traits, and recently published the discovery of two novel genetic associations for Parkinson's disease in PLoS Genetics, and presented a major replication study of over 180 genetic associations in the journal PLoS ONE in August 2011. In April of 2012, 23andMe published a study online in the journal PLoS ONE
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Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein
jrubinstein@rubenstein.com
212-843-8287
23andMe Inc.
Source:Eurekalert  

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