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Study identifies Type 2 diabetes genetic variants linked to ethnicity

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA — A new study has found several gene variants associated with Type 2 diabetes across different ethnic groups.

Calling it the largest genetics study of Type 2 diabetes, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said the findings could point to biological targets for developing more effective drugs for the disease, which accounts for most of the nearly 26 million people living with diabetes in the United States. The study, published online in the American Journal of Human Genetics last week, included 17,000 people with Type 2 diabetes and a control group of 70,000, including subjects with African-American, Hispanic, Asian and European ancestry.

"Scientists have identified only about 10% of the genetic variants contributing to Type 2 diabetes, and most previous studies have been based on people of European ancestry," study co-author Brendan Keating of the hospital’s Center for Applied Genomics said. "This international study found that many gene variants associated with Type 2 diabetes overlap across multiple ethnic groups."

The study’s researchers examined 50,000 genetic variants across 2,100 genes associated with the disease, identifying variants in four previously unknown genes that play a part in it and verifying 16 previously reported Type 2 diabetes-linked variants. A total of 40 gene variants have been found to raise or lower the risk of the disease.

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Giant-Carlisle installs solar panels at two stores

BY Alaric DeArment

LANCASTER, Pa. — One of the supermarket chains operated by Netherlands-based Royal Ahold has installed rooftop solar panels at two of its stores.

Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant Food Stores — also known as Giant-Carlisle to distinguish it from Landover, Md.-based Giant Food, also owned by Ahold — said it had installed solar photovoltaic systems at stores in Lancaster and Pottstown, Pa.

The company said the Lancaster store, opened in 2011, now has 1,111 solar panels on the roof that will generate 13% of its annual electricity requirements. The store also has other features to reduce energy consumption, including skylights and LED lighting.

Meanwhile, the Pottstown store has 1,056 solar panels that will generate 12% of its electricity requirements.

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Arm & Hammer introduces Ultra Last clumping cat litter

BY Allison Cerra

PRINCETON, N.J. — Arm & Hammer has introduced a new type of cat litter that’s aimed at busy cat owners who don’t have time to clean the litter box every day.

New Ultra Last clumping cat litter contains Arm & Hammer baking soda-coated granules and special odor neutralizers that continuously eliminate even the worst litter box odors, the company said. It also creates rock solid clumps that give way for easy removal of the source of odors and the moisture activated fresh scent deodorizes the litter every time the cat uses the litter box.

Arm & Hammer Ultra Last clumping cat litter is available in 20-lb., 28-lb. and 40-lb. sizes at leading retail outlets nationwide for a suggested retail price range from $8.99 to $16.99.

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