Keyword: genetics

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Hypotrichosis

Hair loss? This gene might be to blame

Hypotrichosis simplex leads to progressive hair loss already in childhood. A team of researchers led by human geneticists at the University Hospital of Bonn has now deciphered a new gene that is responsible for this rare form of hair loss. Changes in the LSS gene lead to impairment of an important enzyme that has a crucial function in cholesterol metabolism. The scientists now present their…

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Gene editing

The future of CRISPR in plastic and reconstructive surgery

The CRISPR genome editing technique promises to be a "transformative leap" in genetic engineering and therapy, affecting almost every area of medicine. That includes plastic surgery, with potential advances ranging from prevention of craniofacial malformations, to therapeutic skin grafts, to new types of rejection-free transplants, according to a paper in the November issue of Plastic…

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It's all connected

Understanding the "wiring diagrams" of genes in complex tissues

How is the activity of all genes in cells of higher organisms interconnected? And how are the genetic "wiring diagrams" of the cells in complex tissues coordinated with each other? Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the University of Heidelberg are now planning to investigate this in two model organisms, Drosophila and…

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Myelodysplastic syndrome

Genetic testing helps predict disease recurrence

A DNA-based analysis of blood cells soon after a stem cell transplant can predict likelihood of disease recurrence in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a group of cancerous disorders characterized by dysfunctional blood cells. Such a practice could help doctors identify patients at high risk of disease recurrence early after a transplant and help guide treatment decisions.

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Research

Link between obesity, the brain, and genetics

Clinicians should consider how the way we think can make us vulnerable to obesity, and how obesity is genetically intertwined with brain structure and mental performance, according to new research. The study, led by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), was an examination of MRI and cognitive test data from 1,200 individuals, supplied as part of the Human…

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Switching sides

How cancer cells 'brainwash' their foes

It doesn’t often happen that army generals switch sides in the middle of a war, but when cancer is attacking, it may cause even a gene that acts as the body’s master defender to change allegiance. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have discovered that this gene’s betrayal can occur in more ways than previously appreciated – and might even return the renegade cells to their…

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Single nucleotide polymorphism

Biosensor chip detects genetic mutation with higher sensitivity

A team led by the University of California San Diego has developed a chip that can detect a type of genetic mutation known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and send the results in real time to a smartphone, computer, or other electronic device. The chip is at least 1,000 times more sensitive at detecting an SNP than current technology. The advance could lead to cheaper, faster and…

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Brain cancer

Typical mutation in cancer cells stifles immune response

The exchange of a single amino acid building block in a metabolic enzyme can lead to cancer. In addition, it can impair the immune system. It thus blocks the body’s immune response in the battle against the mutant molecule and also impedes immunotherapy against brain cancer. This finding opens new insights into cancer development and progression and it also suggests that rethinking antitumor…

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Faster diagnosis, reduced cost

The impact of whole genome sequencing on newborn babys in ICU

Early whole genome sequencing might bring hope for children who are born severely ill or who develop serious illness in the first few weeks of their life. Because these children are often difficult to diagnose, detection of diseases has considerable implications for their short and longer-term care. At the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) in Milan, Italy, the…

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Old as mice

When less is more: Gene switch for healthy aging found

Aging is a major risk factor for physical frailty and the development of age-related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. Numerous studies have already shown that a calorie-restricted diet can significantly delay age-related conditions in several organisms like flies, worms, fish and mice, and that it even improves fitness at old age. But who…

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High throughput screening

Tumor-like spheres to help discover smarter cancer drugs

Cancer is a disease often driven by mutations in genes. As researchers learn more about these genes, and the proteins they code for, they are seeking smarter drugs to target them. The ultimate goal is to find ways to stop cancer cells from multiplying out of control, thereby blocking the growth and spread of tumors. Now researchers from The Scripps Research Institute are reporting an innovative…

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Gender & genetics

Alzheimer's: study reveals sex differences

The APOE gene, the strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, may play a more prominent role in disease development among women than men, according to new research from the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center. The research confirmed recent studies that carrying the APOE ε4 allele has a greater association with Alzheimer’s disease among women compared to men, and went one…

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Music for life

Massive Attack to last forever – in DNA form

The digital audio of an entire music album is to be stored in the form of genetic information for the first time, using technology developed at ETH Zurich. Coded in DNA molecules and poured into tiny glass beads, an album by Massive Attack will be preserved – practically for eternity. The British band Massive Attack are considered pioneers of trip hop, an atmospheric style of electronic music…

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Wolbachia

Little-known bacteria might grind Zika and dengue infections to a halt

A Vanderbilt team took the next leap forward in using a little-known bacteria to stop the spread of deadly mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika and dengue. Wolbachia are bacteria that occur widely in insects and, once they do, inhibit certain pathogenic viruses the insects carry. The problem with using Wolbachia broadly to protect humans is that the bacteria do not normally occur in mosquitoes…

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Fact-checking

Inherited cancer and genetic testing - looking beyond the myths

Cancer is a genetic disease caused by abnormal changes over time to genes that control cell function, typically starting in a single cell (an acquired mutation) and often not linked to an inherited genetic mutation. In other words, most cancers happen by chance. Only about 5 to 10 percent of cancers are due to an inherited genetic mutation, says Monique Lubaton, MGC, CGC, cancer genetic counselor…

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Life expectancy

Mole-rats might teach us how to become old and healthy

Humans and other mammals have a lot in common. Depending on race, 80 to 98% of mammalian genetic makeup is identical to the human one. Nevertheless, the variety of life expectancy among mammals is huge; and so far, it was unclear, which impact the genetic makeup has on a species’ life span. In rodents, differences in life expectancy and morbidity during aging are particularly high: Despite…

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