Nature or Nurture? Twins Study Helps Sort Out Genes’ Role in Disease | 40% Are Genetic

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Two of every five common diseases are at least partially influenced by a person’s genetics, the largest U.S. study of twins ever conducted finds.

Nearly 40 percent of 560 different diseases have a genetic component, while 25 percent are driven by environmental factors shared by twins who are growing up in the same household, the researchers reported.

Brain disorders were most strongly influenced by genetics, the investigators found, with four of five cognitive diseases having a genetic component.

On the other hand, eye diseases and respiratory disorders were most likely to be influenced by the environment in which twins were raised, the results showed.

This report could serve as a roadmap for people interested in studying the causes of any of the 560 diseases considered by the investigators, said lead researcher Chirag Lakhani, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School.

It can be costly and time-consuming to perform studies that feature a full genetic analysis (“genotype”) of participants, Lakhani said. Scientists might skip this step for diseases that are clearly not influenced by genetics.

“Maybe this disease isn’t worth our investment to genotype if you see within a twin study the genetic role is low,” Lakhani said. “Maybe it’s not worth looking into for a specific population.”

For this study, Lakhani and his colleagues used an insurance claims database from Aetna that included nearly 45 million patient records.

The researchers identified more than 56,000 twins and more than 724,000 pairs of siblings. All patients had been part of the insurance database for at least three years, and the twin pairs ranged in age from newborns to 24 years old….

Take a closer look at all the results on the CaTCH website.

The study was published in the journal Nature Genetics.

Source: Harvard Gazette

Source: Nature or Nurture? Twins Study Helps Sort Out Genes’ Role in Disease

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Donald Trump Vladimir Putin Meeting Secret Story | National Review

It is now clear that these stories were misleading, if not mostly false. First, they neglected to mention that the president’s decision to restrict access to read-outs of his two one-on-one meetings with Putin were due to the extraordinary number of leaks to the press of his phone calls and meetings with foreign officials at the beginning of his presidency.

Second, it is untrue that senior officials are unaware of what was discussed in President Trump’s meetings with Putin.

Concerning Trump’s first meeting with Putin in 2017, although a notetaker reportedly was not present and Mr. Trump allegedly took possession of his interpreter’s notes, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attended this meeting and provided a detailed read-out to senior U.S. officials. It is clear that the unnamed officials cited in the Washington Post piece on the 2017 Trump-Putin meeting were irritated that they were not provided with copies of Tillerson’s read-out of the meeting, not that there wasn’t a read-out. It also is ridiculous for the press to assert that President Trump said something nefarious to Putin with Tillerson present.

Concerning President Trump’s one-on-one meeting with Putin in Helsinki last July, I can attest as former national-security council executive secretary and chief of staff that senior U.S. officials — including myself — know everything that was discussed. Again, the real issue here is that some U.S. officials are irritated that they do not know what was discussed in this meeting and voiced their frustrations to the press.

Source: Donald Trump Vladimir Putin Meeting Secret Story | National Review

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Here Are The High-Profile Liberal Groups, Celebrities Who Backed Out of the Women’s March

Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory appeared on “The View” and defended her relationship with Louis Farrakhan. She refused to condemn his anti-Semitic statements, even after being grilled by Megan McCain.

“I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric, I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities,” Mallory told the panel.

A large number of liberal organizations backed out of the Women’s March over the interaction. These are groups who were aligned with the group in 2017 but have now stepped back:

• Democratic National Committee
• AFL-CIO
• SEIU (and 1199 SEIU, the nation’s largest health-care union)
• Amnesty International USA
• NAACP
• National Council of Jewish Women
• NARAL Pro-Choice
• EMILY’s List
• GLAAD
• Human Rights Campaign
• Southern Poverty Law Center
• National Resources Defense Council
• Greenpeace USA
• OXFAM
• Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense
• Center for American Progress

Actresses Alyssa Milano and Debra Messing both denounced the Women’s March a few months ago over this same issue. Milano initially said she wouldn’t speak at the event as long as Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory were part of the group’s leadership and they refused to condemn Farrahkan’s anti-Semitic remarks.

Source: Here Are The High-Profile Liberal Groups, Celebrities Who Backed Out of the Women’s March

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Jackson Lee’s Former Staffer: I Was Retaliated Against For Suing the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Over My Rape

Here’s how the events went down (from BuzzFeed):

The woman said she reported the alleged rape to police and told several people, including Rep. Terri Sewell, her former boss and a distant relative of her mother’s, but did not pursue legal action at the time.

Several years later, when Jane Doe was working for Jackson Lee, the woman decided she did want to pursue legal action, and told Jackson Lee’s chief of staff Glenn Rushing in early March 2018. The woman alleges that she asked to speak with Jackson Lee about it, but a meeting never happened, and several weeks later she was fired. Jackson Lee is chair of the board for the CBCF.

According to the lawsuit, the string of events took place over a number of years. The rape allegedly took place in 2015 when Jones invited Doe to dinner after an office event. Doe accepted. The two had multiple drinks, despite Doe being 19 at the time. Jones called an Uber to take the two back to his apartment. On the way home Jones stopped to purchase more alcohol. When they arrived back at his place, Doe allegedly told Jones she needed to leave. After that, the rest of the evening is a blur. The lawsuit states she doesn’t remember the remainder of events “because of the large quantity of alcohol Mr. Jones had given her at the restaurant and/or because he drugged her at some point that night.”

Source: Jackson Lee’s Former Staffer: I Was Retaliated Against For Suing the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Over My Rape

Jane Doe’s story has a lot of flaws, but it is certainly more credible than the allegations against Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

And what happened to #MeToo’s theme song, all women must be believed?

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The Self-Destruction of LGBT Activism

Sometimes, in a debate or a court of law, the best way to let your opponent lose is simply to let him (or her) continue to speak. Soon enough, they sink their own ship. It’s the same with LGBT activism. The more “victories” it gains, the more it exposes (and destroys) itself.

Tolerance is not the goal. Diversity is not the desired result.

Instead, dominance is the goal and exclusivity the desired result.

In the end, no matter how outrageous the act, how perverse the deed, it must not be condemned. Rather, opposing voices must be condemned.

By default, these voices are wrong, while, in contrast, if the cause is LGBT, by default, it is good and right.

Do you think I’m exaggerating?

Several weeks ago, after an 11-year-old drag queen danced before the admiring patrons in a gay bar, I asked, “Where is the LGBT outrage? Where is the indignation? Where is the outcry?”

To this day, there has been none (at least, not on any wide scale).

The only outrage I saw online was from the boy’s mother. How dare we conservatives find anything wrong with this picture. After all, her boy is a professional. Any opposition to him dancing in drag, in a gay bar, is simply “blatant homophobia.”

Source: The Self-Destruction of LGBT Activism

If it was an 11 year old girl dancing in a biker bar there would be outrage and the parents would be arrested.

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Ukraine OKs Property Law That Could Affect 12,000 Churches

The bill could potentially affect some 12,000 churches in Ukraine and vast amounts of property, including the gems of Orthodox Christianity like the vast Pechersk Monastery (Monastery of the Caves) in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople earlier this month granted independence to a new Ukrainian Orthodox Church, formally severing its centuries-long ties with the Russian Orthodox Church. The move forces clergy and believers in Ukraine to choose between belonging to Moscow-backed churches or the new Ukrainian one.

Until the decree, the Orthodox church that enjoyed wide autonomy under the Russian Orthodox Church was considered legitimate and two others in Ukraine were regarded as schismatic. The new church unites the two formerly schismatic bodies.

Many Ukrainians had resented the status of the Moscow-affiliated church. The push for a full-fledged Ukrainian church was bolstered by Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and fighting in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russia-backed rebels that has killed at least 10,000 people.

Source: Ukraine OKs Property Law That Could Affect 12,000 Churches

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UN: DR Congo ethnic violence kills nearly 900 in a few days

At least 890 people are believed to have been killed in ethnic violence in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last month, the United Nations human rights office said on Wednesday, warning that the actual toll could be higher still.

This doubles an estimate provided on Monday by a local priest and a civil society activist who said that at least 400 people had been killed in bloodshed which led the government to cancel voting there in last month’s presidential election.

“I have to emphasise that 890 is the number of people we know were actually buried,” UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said after the release of a statement on the attacks.

“But there are reports that many others may have been killed and their bodies may have been dumped in the Congo River or they may have been burned to death,” she said.

Source: DR Congo ethnic violence kills nearly 900 in a few days: UN | DR Congo News | Al Jazeera

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