Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Maybe There Are Medical Implications

According to LiveScience's Jeremy Hsu, incoming University of California, Berkeley, freshmen who elect to be genotyped as part of the school's controversial "Bring Your Genes to Cal" program, "may get more than they bargained for if it turns up a gene deficiency responsible for what is known as 'the Asian flush.'" Individuals of East Asian decent, Hsu notes, can have two common variants for the ALDH2 gene, which codes for an alcohol-metabolizing enzyme. "One variant, ALDH2*1, functions normally, but ALDH2*2 has an inactive protein that renders the enzyme useless," he writes. Those who carry two copies of ALDH2*2 "suffer from Asian flush," and commonly experience nausea and heart palpitations upon alcoholic consumption, while carriers of a single copy of the allele "experience less severe versions of Asian flush." This, Phillip Brooks — a molecular neurobiologist at the NIAAA — told Live Science "increases your risk of esophageal cancer for the same amount of alcohol consumed, compared to someone who is able to fully metabolize the acetaldehyde."

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.