Is this latest chiropractic trend actually effective?

It's a frightening scene straight out of Game of Thrones: a row of people, including me, strapped down to benches with foam bricks placed under our spines and heavy weights dangling from leather masks over our faces, pulling our necks backward.

It’s a treatment for 21st-century afflictions: textneck, iHump, tablet stoop and computer hunch.

It’s a treatment for 21st-century afflictions: textneck, iHump, tablet stoop and computer hunch.

As I lie there, waiting and watching as the clock ticks agonisingly slowly towards its 15-minute alarm, I wonder why I'm subjecting myself to this.

While it might sound primitive, this is becoming a common treatment for some of the 21st century's increasing afflictions: text neck, iHump, tablet stoop and computer hunch.

I first visited this health centre after I hurt my back. The chiropractor took a photo of me standing up straight, or so I thought. The image shocked me. My shoulders were hunched, my back was rounded and my neck was extended forward. I looked horribly like a turtle foraging for earthworms.

Apparently, it was the result of too much stooping to peer at my phone, poor posture at my computer, and slouching over books and newspapers. "You'll have to do something about your posture," the chiropractor told me. "Otherwise this will happen again." I didn't, and it did.

Sceptical but desperate, I enrolled in a course of 20 sessions of Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP). Dr Alex Hopwood at Healthspace in Sydney first did the normal chiro adjustments, then strapped me to a bench with a foam brick under my back.

As I became more used to that, and practised at home, I progressed to having a spinal orthotic under my lower back, another one under my neck, and then those ghastly weights hanging from the strappy leather mask around my face, forcing my neck back.

It was incredibly uncomfortable, but great training in mind over matter. Some people, I noticed, listened to music through headphones, some (remarkably) tried to sleep, others meditated. I just counted the minutes.

Between sessions, I looked up all the literature I could find on the practice, which is apparently all the rage in the US but still in its infancy here. It actually looks promising.

Studies published in reputable journals like The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation found that controlled trials had positive results in straightening people's backs and lessening the tendency for their necks to crane forward, reducing stress on the spinal cord, nervous system and spinal nerves, and resulting in a gain in overall health.

Hopwood is a passionate CBP advocate. "My mother suffered terrible migraines, so bad she'd sometimes stay in bed for two weeks," he says. "Then we heard about CBP and she decided to give it a go.

"After six months of treatment, she had no more episodes. It was so incredible, I decided to become a chiropractor and certified in spinal remodelling CBP. This does to the spine what braces can do for teeth. It can change people's lives; I've seen it."

The waiting room at Hopwood's practice is full of interesting stories, including that of the Canberra construction project manager driving to Sydney twice a week for treatment on his curved spine so he'd be able to stand up tall next to his bride at their wedding. '

And for me? Before-and-after X-rays have shown that, in six months, my neck has moved from being 22 millimetres forward to just 5 millimetres, while my thoracic spine curve has improved by 25 per cent.

I can actually feel that I'm standing much taller and straighter, and look forward to a future rather more Esmeralda than, well, Quasimodo.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale July 29.

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These Are 5 Of The Sexiest Scents, According To Science

It is scientifically proven that you can be attracted to someone based on how they smell. That’s right, someone can smell sexy. The human sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than any other sense and the part of the brain is also where our emotions are processed – coincidence? Definitely not.

Science has proven that some scents are sexier than others and can make you feel excited and aroused. These five sexy scents are the ones that will really get you in the mood.

1. Rose

Roses have a chemical called phenethylamine in them and said chemical contains amino acids that break down the hormones that create happiness. This helps people to remain happy for longer and gives off the feeling of love. Sexy, right? Try the Roseravished massage candle to set the mood with the rose scent and give a sensual massage to maximise on this aroma while you’re at it. 

2. Vanilla

Who doesn’t love the smell of vanilla? The sweet aroma contains the chemical heliotropin which is has been proven to be appealing to both men and women, so try a vanilla massage bar with your partner. Not only will this soothe your skin, but the smell alone is enough to get anyone going.

3. Citrus

Lemons and limes aren’t as sour as you think. In fact, the smell of citrus can help boost someone’s mood, give them more energy and make them more alert. So, if you are looking to go all night then try the DONA Sassy Tropical Massage Candle, which will make you feel fruity and fabulous and give you the energy you need.

4. Mint

Yes, that minty fresh smell can be incredibly sexy as it is invigorating and induces feelings of excitement. Experiment with peppermint lube to add some flavour to your foreplay. Not only is it tasty, but this also creates a tingling sensation that will elevate those feelings of excitement.  

5. Chocolate

Can’t get enough of chocolate? There is a scientific reason for that. Chocolate contains phenethylamine, the same chemical found in roses, creating feelings of love and happiness. The smell alone is enough to brighten someone’s mood, but it creates even more powerful sexual responses when eaten. Try DONA Kissable Body Paint to stimulate their skin and awaken your tastebuds.

Whether you want to feel aroused, excited or sensual, science has spoken and these scents can help you get there because these sexy scents are bound to get you and your partner in the mood.

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FDA: whey powder behind recent Salmonella-linked recalls

(HealthDay)—Ritz and Goldfish crackers, Swiss Rolls—they’ve all been tied to possible Salmonella contamination through a common ingredient, dry whey powder, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“There are no confirmed illnesses related to these products,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., stressed in an agency news release. “But we know these products are consumed daily across our country, often by children, which is why we’re alerting consumers now.”

Minnesota-based Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) recalled the dry whey powder due to potential Salmonella contamination, the FDA said. In addition, Mondelez International Inc., Pepperidge Farm Inc., and Flowers Foods Inc. have already recalled Ritz cheese sandwiches and Ritz Bits cheese products, Goldfish crackers, and various brands of Swiss Rolls, respectively, because they contained the suspect whey powder.

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Readmission rate 19.2 percent after acute exacerbation of COPD

(HealthDay)—The rate of 30-day index readmissions after acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) is 19.2 percent, according to a study published in the July issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

David M. Jacobs, Pharm.D., Ph.D., from the University of Buffalo in New York, and colleagues analyzed the Nationwide Readmission Database from 2013 to 2014 to determine the rates, causes and predictors for early readmission in patients hospitalized with AECOPD.

After 1,055,830 index AECOPD admissions, the researchers identified 202,300 30-day readmissions, for a rate of 19.2 percent. The highest rates of readmission were seen within the first 72 hours of discharge (4.2 to 5.5 percent); more than half of readmissions (58 percent) were within the first 15 days. The most common reason for readmission was respiratory-based diseases (52.4 percent), with COPD the most common diagnosis (28.4 percent). At different time periods after discharge, the readmission diagnoses were similar. There were correlations for early readmission with patient factors (Medicaid payer status, lower household income, and higher comorbidity burden) and clinical factors (longer length of stay and discharge to a skilled nursing facility). Within the 30-day window, predictors did not vary substantially by time of readmission after discharge.

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Big data and predictive analytics pull in smokers for lung screening

Early detection is key in preventing severe problems associated with lung cancer. In fact, when using low-dose computed tomography imaging, more than 80 percent of lung cancers have a chance to be cured when detected at an early stage, according to Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, an American College of Radiology Designated Lung Cancer Screening Center.

Virginia-based Chesapeake Regional sought to motivate smokers and former smokers to "Get Off their Butts" and get screened with its Lung Cancer Screening Trigger Campaign, which they started in 2015.

By leveraging SaaS-based big data analytics and marketing technology, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare was able to identify, target and educate certain populations at risk or eligible for lung screenings with this personalized outreach program. As a result, the healthcare organization was able to get 5.21 percent of new patients and 9.17 percent of all patients it targeted to get lung screenings.

"Chesapeake Regional Healthcare was looking to drive more volume into our Lung Cancer Screening program, and only certain people need or qualify for a lung screening – targeting and predictive analytics are perfect for this type of campaign," said Sarah Liebrum, manager of marketing and communications at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare.

So the health system turned to Tea Leaves Health, a developer of cloud-based analytics technology that Liebrum said "offers self-reported smoker data as well as some modeling that allows us to predict who is likely to need this screening."

Beyond that, she said, "we can use our patient data to look for certain diagnoses to include or exclude. It is always our goal to keep our patient population as healthy as possible and this screening allows us to help them diagnose and treat any conditions that may exist before it's too late."

In addition to Tea Leaves Health, there are a variety of provider relationship management systems on the market today from vendors including Ascend, Evariant, Infor, Salesforce, Silverline and Software Solutions Group.

The marketing tool enables Chesapeake Regional Healthcare to hone in and target those that need a specific service at a specific time.

Liebrum added that the cloud-based service features pre-written queries for best practices, to which the Chesapeake Regional team plugs in information about its geography to get data back about how many people qualify in that region. 

For its Lung Cancer Screening Trigger Campaign, the provider was able to get 5.21 percent of new patients and 9.17 percent of all patients it targeted to get lung screenings.

"The 5.21 percent were folks that were not previously our patients – a fantastic response from non-patients that shows we are targeting the right folks," Liebrum said. "We have currently contacted more than 25,700 for this campaign over the course of two and a half years. And we are continuing this into the new fiscal year."

Big Data analytics informed the healthcare provider on specific populations about the benefits of early detection.

"With predictive modeling, we are able to spend dollars wisely to communicate to those most likely needing to know about this important screening," she said.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: [email protected]

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HIMSS Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum: What to expect

Digital data has become the lifeblood of healthcare, touching every facet of the delivery system and informing – sometimes transforming – the way clinical decisions are made and operational strategies are developed and deployed.

And, as anyone who is a healthcare decision-maker knows all too well, there's more data than ever before – structured, unstructured, semi-structured; labs and imaging; genomic and proteomic; patent-generated data; social determinants of health – with more being amassed in electronic health records, connected devices and data lakes every day.

Thankfully, the technology used to access, analyze and put that data to work is also getting more advanced on a continuing basis. Ever more sophisticated analytics software and precise predictive algorithms are at our fingertips. Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools are finding their place and hospitals and health systems large and small.

At the same time, many more basic challenges – related to information governance, say, or simple data literacy – continue to vex many healthcare providers. But whether data beginners, or more advanced analytics innovators, everyone can learn more about how to make clinical and financial information work for higher-quality and more efficient care.

At the two-day HIMSS Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum in Boston, October 22 and 23, experts from across the care delivery spectrum will offer advice, perspective and best-practices across four different areas that are poised to transform or be transformed by advanced analytics.

The morning of Day 1 will focus on basic challenges related to basic questions of blocking and tackling: data governance, analytics strategies, foundational knowledge.

For instance, Jason Burke, chief analytics officer at UNC Health Care & School of Medicine, will speak alongside Philip Bradley, regional director, North America at HIMSS Analytics, about UNC's journey up the ladder of HA's International Adoption Model for Analytics Maturity, explaining how it reached Stage 7 by treating data as an asset, advancing system-wide adoption of data visualization and enabling self-service analytics.

And I'll be moderating a panel focused on best practices for data governance: Douglas Gentile, MD, CMIO at University of Vermont Health Network; Michael Johnson, data scientist at St. Charles Health System, and others will offer their hard-won perspective on how to manage the availability, usability, consistency, data integrity and security of health information.

The afternoon of Day 1 will begin to explore, through specific use cases, how data of all shapes and sizes can be put to work improving outcomes and enabling population health management.

Lynda Chin, executive director of the REDI (Real-World Detection and Intervention) Platform at the University of Texas System will discuss her approach to "empowering clinicians and patients to be proactive" in their data-driven efforts to improve.

And Simon Jones, MD, professor in the Department of Population Health, and Harry Saag, MD, medical director of Network Integration and Ambulatory Quality, both of NYU Langone, will show how data science can streamline and enhance care coordination on a large scale, leading to big improvements in quality and efficiency.

On Day 2, the topic schedule will get a bit more advanced. The morning will offer a real-world perspective on operationalizing AI and machine learning effectively.

A leadership panel of several clinical and data science experts will take stock of the current status artificial intelligence in healthcare, and offer some predictions about where it's headed. What we need to do to get their faster while deploying these leading-edge technologies safely? What education do various stakeholders need? What new vocabulary is required? How is AI best woven into operational and clinical processes?

Then, 16-year-old high school student Justin Aronson – the youngest speaker ever at a HIMSS event – will discuss his own computer science bona fides, and explain how he's put publicly available data to work building a website that enables laboratories to determine whether their genetic variant classifications conflict with the assessments of other labs. Data democratization like that will play a key role in the development of machine learning, he says.

And the afternoon of Day 2 will take a closer look at the fast-approaching future of precision medicine, exploring the promise of what smart analysis of genetic and genomic data could mean for personalized care.

Douglas Reding, MD, chief medical officer at Ascension Wisconsin will describe his efforts to spread precision medicine practices enterprise-wide at ther health system, explaining the critical infrastructure needed to tackle genomics at scale, and the use cases for artificial intelligence in analytics and care coordination.

Then, Bat-ami Katzman Gordon, director for Precision Medicine at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Nadia Haque, director of the Precision Medicine Program at Henry Ford Health System, will offer their own perspectives on expanding precision med programs beyond the inpatient setting – scaling it out into community care, where genetic and social determinant data could best impact personal and population health.

The HIMSS Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum is scheduled for Oct. 22-23 in Boston. Register here.

HIMSS TV coverage from San Francisco in May:

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: [email protected]

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New ceria nanoparticles attack Parkinson’s disease from three fronts

Researchers at the Center for Nanoparticle Research, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS, South Korea), have developed a set of nanoparticles for Parkinson’s disease treatment. Tested in mice and published in Angewandte Chemie as a “hot paper,” this study represents the first biomedical application of nanoparticles in the clearance of reactive oxygen by-products in Parkinson’s, and gives new hints of therapeutic targets. In the future, the system is expected to be used in the identification and treatment of other pathologies caused by reactive oxygen species, including: cancers, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and sepsis.

Parkinson’s disease is characterized by the sudden degeneration and death of neurons that secrete dopamine in the brain. Accumulation of reactive oxygen species damages the neurons, by contributing to the onset of mitochondrial dysfunction, neuroinflammation, and neuronal death.

The brain’s low antioxidant levels and abundance of lipids, make it more vulnerable to the side effects of reactive oxygen species, including free radicals. The oxidative stress caused by these molecules inside mitochondria, together with neuroinflammation due to intracellular and extracellular oxidative stress are considered important causes of Parkinson’s disease.

Until now, there has been no technique to selectively clear reactive oxygen species, nor to distinguish their effect according to their cellular localization. To solve these problems, IBS nanoparticle researchers have devised three types of ceria nanoparticles with different sizes and surface properties, capable of selectively removing reactive oxygen species from mitochondria, intracellular, and extracellular spaces.

Ceria nanoparticles aimed at the intracellular spaces have a size of 11 nm, which is small enough to enter the cell, and a negative surface charge (ζ-potential: -23 mV) which prevents them from entering the mitochondria membrane. The ceria nanoparticle targeting oxygen free radicals in mitochondria are decorated with triphenylphosphonium (TPP), which confers them a positive surface charge of +45 mV. Finally, nanoparticle clusters of hundreds of thousands of 3 nm ceria nanoparticles with a size of 400 nm and a negative surface charge, are capable of removing reactive oxygen species while remaining outside the cell.

The nanoparticles delivered to a part of the brain, called corpus striatum, in mouse models improved the typical signs of Parkinson’s disease: neuro-inflammation, oxidative stress, and diminishing level of the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase – a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease – which produces a dopamine precursor and affects mobility.

Attacking oxidative stress and neuroinflammation from three different fronts allowed IBS scientists to pinpoint the most critical therapeutic targets. In particular, removing reactive oxygen species in extracellular spaces with cluster-ceria nanoparticles diminished neuro-inflammation, but did not show any effect in reducing oxidative stress and maintaining normal levels of tyrosine hydroxylase. Instead, mice treated with ceria nanoparticles and the TPP-ceria nanoparticles had significantly higher tyrosine hydroxylase levels than the controls. The results suggest that lowering oxidative stress in intracellular and/or mitochondrial compartments is important to treat Parkinson’s disease.

“These experiments have identified the essential role of intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in the progression and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. We hope that the ceria nanoparticle system will be useful tools for developing therapeutic agents in diseases that involve oxidative stress, as well as other degenerative diseases,” explains KWON Hyek Jin, first author of the study.

“This result is not only the first to develop a technique to selectively remove reactive oxygen species from intracellular, extracellular, and mitochondrial spaces, but also to investigate the effects of Parkinson’s disease, the cause of the disease, and a new medical application of nanoparticles,” explains HYEON Taeghwan, the corresponding author of the study.

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Poll: Latinos see health care communication barriers

Nearly 6 in 10 Hispanic adults have had a difficult time communicating with a health care provider because of a language or cultural barrier, and when they do they often turn to outside sources for help, according to a new study conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The survey finds that half of those who have faced those barriers turned to a family member or to another health care provider for assistance. In addition, more than 1 in 4 looked to a translator, public resources in their community or online sources for help when they faced those issues.

Antonio Torres, 53, of Orlando, Florida, who is bilingual and legally blind, told The AP he regularly struggles to understand the medical terms used by doctors and nurses.

“When I tell them I don’t understand them, they’ll bring someone over to speak to me in Spanish and I don’t understand them, either,” said Torres, who is Puerto Rican and was raised in New York. “We didn’t grow up speaking that formal Spanish, so I have no idea what they are saying.”

At times, Torres said he even gets medicine with his name misspelled on the bottle. “And I don’t know if I’m taking my medicine or someone else’s,” he said.

The language and cultural barriers in health care for Latinos are something advocates have been pointing out for years.

In 2014, for example, the Obama administration faced criticism following the rollout of the Spanish version of the federal health care website, The translations were so clunky and full of grammatical mistakes that critics say they must have been computer-generated. The website also translated “premium” into “prima,” the Spanish word more commonly used to mean a female cousin among Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants.

Along with communication challenges, many Hispanics are concerned about language or cultural accommodations for people in their community who seek long-term care services.

Fewer than half say it would be easy for older Latinos in their area to find a nursing home or assisted living facility with staff that speaks their language, or to find a home health aide who does. Even fewer—less than 3 in 10—say the same about finding long-term care providers who can prepare the kind of food they are used to. Some have concerns about finding nursing homes and assisted-living facilities that will respect their religious or spiritual beliefs, though fewer have the same concern about home health aides.

Torres said he’s not confident he’ll find a culturally sensitive nursing home when he’s gets older. “I’d rather just live alone and poison myself by accident rather than stay in one of those homes right now,” he said.

Like other older Americans, many Hispanics age 40 and older expect to rely on government programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to pay for long-term care services, even though Medicare does not cover most nursing care or home health aides. But only about 2 in 10 think any of these programs will still be providing at least the same level of benefits five years from now. Just 15 percent of older Hispanics are very confident they will be able to pay for their own future long-term care needs.

The survey also finds that a large majority of older Hispanics are open to using at least one type of telemedicine to receive care, including phone consultations, text messages or video services like Skype, although older Hispanics are somewhat less likely than others in their age group to say they’d be comfortable using some types of telemedicine.

Gabriel Vargas, 41, of Lancaster, South Carolina, who is from Veracruz, Mexico, said he felt these resources in his area already were helping Latino residents. The growth of online options, he said, is breaking down the stigma held by Hispanics around regular checkups and preventative care.

“There’s a nonprofit group here that goes out of its way to help,” said Vargas, whose first language is Spanish. “Maybe 10 years ago, it was tough. But today I think it’s become easier.”


The survey was conducted March 13 to April 5 by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, with funding from the SCAN Foundation.

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You Might Be A 'Type D Personality' And Not Even Know It

Mention the term “Type A personality” and chances are an immediate image comes to mind. Your super driven boss, an annoying perfectionist to the end, or your competitive and highly organised friend, the one who manages to listen to a podcast, run 10kms and make bircher museli from scratch — all before 9am. 

Type B? They’re the ones who are generally pretty cruisy, preferring to express themselves through emotion and creativity and experiencing lower stress levels as a result.

Type C represents people who appear quiet and laid back but are fighting a fire of anger and aggression inside, usually finding it a challenge to express their emotional side.

But what about Type D? No idea? According to psychology professor Susan Krauss Whitbourne, D stands for distressed. Type D people are generally anxious, stressed and potentially lonely, but ignore their feelings. As a result of their repressed emotion, and the mental health implications that come with this, they’re more likely to suffer from illnesses such as heart disease.

“Paradoxically enough, Type D individuals may not actually experience anxiety and depression in terms of mood state (how they feel) because they suppress their negative emotions,” writes Krauss Whitbourne. “Thus, as they try to reign in their negative feelings, they only exacerbate their risk of cardiac disease.”

Psychologist Johan Denollet first coined the Type D personality term, and came up with a questionnaire to help determine people who fall into this category.

Find out if you’re one:

Below are a number of statements that people often use to describe themselves. Read each one and choose the appropriate number next to that statement to indicate your answer. There are no right or wrong answers: Your own impression is the only thing that matters.

0 = false
1 = rather false
2 = neutral
3 = rather true
4 = true

1) I make contact easily when I meet people 0 1 2 3 4

2) I often make a fuss about unimportant things 0 1 2 3 4

3) I often talk to strangers 0 1 2 3 4

4) I often feel unhappy 0 1 2 3 4

5) I am often irritated 0 1 2 3 4

6) I often feel inhibited in social interactions 0 1 2 3 4

7) I take a gloomy view of things 0 1 2 3 4

8) I find it hard to start a conversation 0 1 2 3 4

9) I am often in a bad mood 0 1 2 3 4

10) I am a closed kind of person 0 1 2 3 4

11) I would rather keep people at a distance 0 1 2 3 4

12) I often find myself worrying about something 0 1 2 3 4

13) I am often down in the dumps 0 1 2 3 4

14) When socializing, I don’t find the right things to talk about 0 1 2 3 4

˝Negative affectivity˝ scale: Add scores for questions 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, and 13

˝Social inhibition˝ scale: Add scores for questions 1*, 3*, 6, 8, 10, 11, and 14

(*For scoring questions 1 and 3, if you circled 0, enter 4; if 1, enter 3; if 2, enter 2; if 3, enter 1; if 4, enter 0.)

You qualify as a type D personality if you scored 10 or higher on both negative affectivity and social inhibition scales.

This article originally appeared on Marie Claire

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23andMe Is Sharing Its 5 Million Clients' Genetic Data with Drug Giant GlaxoSmithKline

Popular genetics-testing company 23andMe is partnering with drug giant GlaxoSmithKline to use people's DNA to develop medical treatments, the company announced in a blog post yesterday (July 25).

During the four-year collaboration, the London-based GlaxoSmithKline will use 23andMe's genetic database to zero in on possible targets and treatments for human disease.

"The goal of the collaboration is to gather insights and discover novel drug targets driving disease progression and develop therapies," GlaxoSmithKline said in yesterday's statement, where it also reported it was investing $300 million in 23andMe. [How Do DNA Ancestry Tests Really Work?]

It's not yet clear which conditions will be investigated during the collaboration, but one example showed how the collaboration might work: the two companies' previous collaboration on the gene LRRK2, which is linked to some cases of Parkinson's disease, Forbes reported.

Only about 10,000 of the 1 million Americans with Parkinson's disease have the disease because of LRRK2. So, GlaxoSmithKline has to test about 100 Parkinson's patients to find just one potential candidate. However, 23andMe has already provided 250 Parkinson's patients who have agreed to be re-contacted for GlaxoSmithKline's clinical trials, which may help the pharmaceutical company develop the drug much faster, Forbes reported.

However, not everybody is on board with 23andMe's new partnership. If a person's DNA is used in research, that person should be compensated, said Peter Pitts, president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. 

"Are they going to offer rebates to people who opt in, so their customers aren’t paying for the privilege of 23andMe working with a for-profit company in a for-profit research project?" Pitts said to NBC. 

In addition, even though 23andMe gets the consent of its customers to use their genetic data, it's unlikley that most people are aware of this. 

"The problem with a lot of these privacy policies and Terms of Service is that no one really reads them," Tiffany C. Li, a privacy expert and resident fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, told Tom's Guide, a Live Science sister site. "You are paying to help the company make money with your data." 

The new collaboration isn't the first time 23andMe's vast pool of genetic data has been mined by scientists. The San Francisco startup has already published more than 100 scientific papers based on its customers' data, according to yesterday's blog post, by Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe's co-founder and chief executive. In 2015, the company launched 23andMe Therapeutics, which focuses on developing "novel treatments and cures based on genetic insights from the consented 23andMe community," Wojcicki wrote.

23andMe has more than 5 million customers worldwide who have had their DNA analyzed for ancestral data. People who would like to close their 23andMe accounts can go here, but the company notes that "any research involving your data that has already been performed or published prior to our receipt of your request will not be reversed, undone, or withdrawn."

However, once a 23andMe account is closed, any spit samples that a person initially gave consent to be stored "will be discarded," the company said.

Original article on Live Science.

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