genetics

  There are 13 million people with cancer in the United States, and it’s estimated that about 1.3 million of these cases are hereditary. Yet despite advanced training in cancer genetics and years of practicing medicine, Dr. Theo Ross was never certain whether the history of cancers in her family was simple bad luck or a sign that they were carriers of a cancer-causing genetic mutation. Then she was diagnosed with melanoma, and for someone with a dark complexion, melanoma made no sense. It turned out there was a genetic factor at work.

Using her own family’s story, the latest science of cancer genetics, and her experience as a practicing physician, Ross shows how to spot the patterns of inherited cancer, how to get tested for cancer-causing genes, and what to do if you have one. Theo Ross’s new book is: A Cancer in the Family. 

Over the years we’ve heard about the fight against Big Oil, Big Tobacco and, everyone’s favorite, Big Government. Well now we’re hearing about Big Data. Companies are using your data to sell you stuff…but scientists are using it in other ways. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, a discussion on how clinical scientists are using big data.

We’ll also hear how fertility treatments have worked miracles for women and couples trying to have children. But those treatments have also opened up other doors, including the ability to manipulate genes and quote: build a better baby.

Over the years we’ve heard about the fight against Big Oil, Big Tobacco and, everyone’s favorite, Big Government. Well now we’re hearing about Big Data. Companies are using your data to sell you stuff…but scientists are using it in other ways. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, a discussion on how clinical scientists are using big data.

We’ll also hear how fertility treatments have worked miracles for women and couples trying to have children. But those treatments have also opened up other doors, including the ability to manipulate genes and quote: build a better baby.

 Human genomes are 99.9 percent identical—with one prominent exception. Instead of a matching pair of X chromosomes, men carry a single X, coupled with a tiny chromosome called the Y.

Using methods from history, philosophy, and gender studies of science, Sarah Richardson examines in her new book, Sex Itself, how gender has helped to shape the research practices, questions asked, theories and models, and descriptive language used in sex chromosome research.

Sarah Richardson is assistant professor of the history of science and of studies of women, gender, and sexuality at Harvard University.

In The Philadelphia Chromosome, journalist Jessica Wapner tells the story of the breakthrough cancer drug Gleevec, which has saved the lives of thousands of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and other cancers since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2001.

Connecticut's chief medical examiner says he's seeking genetic clues to help explain why a shooter killed 20 children and six adults in a Newtown elementary school.

Dr. H. Wayne Carver tells The Hartford Courant that he wants to know if there is any identifiable disease associated with the behavior of the shooter, Adam Lanza. He is working with the University of Connecticut department of genetics.

New research has found that a missing gene could be responsible for almost 28% of human breast cancer cases, that’s more than 60,000 cases a year in the U.S. and more than 383,000. The study on the NF1 gene, and its role in breast cancer, is from Cornell University. For more on the findings, WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke with the research paper’s senior author, John Schimenti, a professor of genetics at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine.