Friday, March 8, 2013

Expert Explains How DNA Testing is Revolutionizing the Search for Family Roots, Ethnic Ancestry, and Genetic Health Information

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...
Animation of the structure of a section of DNA. The bases lie horizontally between the two spiraling strands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your genetic health may be vitally important as you can inherit and develop hereditary illnesses. If you get married, there is also a genetic risk that you may pass certain health problems on to your children.

You may want to know more about your ethnic background and your ancestors. Would you be surprised to find out the real mix of European, Asian, and African ancestry? Would you want to know if there was a Native American or Ashkenazi Jewish ancestor in your bloodline?

Richard Hill author of the book Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA, explains what the newest breakthroughs in DNA testing mean to people who want to gain from the knowledge of their family origins.

DNA Testing Breakthroughs Offer New Insights and Answers

The technology breakthroughs over past few years have resulted in DNA tests that are now readily available to answer all these questions and more.

A new science called genetic genealogy uses a variety of DNA tests to expand our knowledge of family trees. Instead of stopping when the paper trail runs out, genealogists and others are using individual test results and the vast and ever expanding databases of DNA results and online family trees to uncover previously unknown cousins and identify and confirm our common ancestors.

Adopted at birth, Mr. Hill was one of the first adoptees to use these tests to learn the truth about his own beginnings and reunite with his first family. However, there’s a revolution going on as countless people analyze their ancestral composition.

Direct-to-consumer tests are now quite inexpensive (currently $99 to $289) and allow you to collect your DNA sample in the privacy of your home.  The sampling process itself is painless – you either brush the inside your cheek or spit some saliva into a tube.

23andMe offers just one test, which includes a matching feature called Relative Finder. This test also includes a report on your genetic health traits.

DNA Test Comparisons Open Up the Door to Understanding

While many basic questions are answered by testing the DNA of just one person, the best results are often revealed by comparing the test results that that of another person and to the genetic data and information being compiled and stored in various databases.

  • Finding biological relatives is achieved by comparing your DNA to all the individuals who took the same type of test.

  • Information about your ethnicity comes from comparing your DNA to dozens of scientifically accepted population studies.

  • Genetic health issues are ascertained by comparing your DNA against the findings of medical research. You can see how your risk for a particular condition compares to the average person of your age and background, the carrier status for diseases that could impact your descendants, and even your likely response to certain drugs.

Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA
Richard Hill

List $15.00
Trade paperback 260 pages Also available in Kindle edition
ISBN-10: 1475190832  ISBN-13: 978-1475190830

Available in bookstores nationwide and online.

For more information visit

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Pharmacy History

"The earliest known compilation of medicinal substances was ARIANA the Sushruta Samhita, an Indian Ayurvedic treatise attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC. However, the earliest text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Many Sumerian (late 6th millennium BC - early 2nd millennium BC) cuneiform clay tablets record prescriptions for medicine.[3]

Ancient Egyptian pharmacological knowledge was recorded in various papyri such as the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 BC, and the Edwin Smith Papyrus of the 16th century BC.

The earliest known Chinese manual on materia medica is the Shennong Bencao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic), dating back to the 1st century AD. It was compiled during the Han dynasty and was attributed to the mythical Shennong. Earlier literature included lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by a manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tomb, sealed in 168 BC. Further details on Chinese pharmacy can be found in the Pharmacy in China article."

From Wikipedia:

Journal of Palliative Medicine - Table of Contents

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