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Archive for the ‘genetics’ category: Page 9

Sep 14, 2020

New Map Charts Genetic Expression Across Tissue Types, Sexes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, neuroscience, sex

From the data, the GTEx team could identify the relationship between specific genes and a type of regulatory DNA called expression quantitative trait loci, or eQTL. At least one eQTL regulates almost every human gene, and each eQTL can regulate more than one gene, influencing expression, GTEx member and human geneticist Kristin Ardlie of the Broad Institute tells Science.

Another major takeaway from the analyses was that sex affected gene expression in almost all of the tissue types, from heart to lung to brain cells. “The vast majority of biology is shared by males and females,” yet the gene expression differences are vast and might explain differences in disease progression, GTEx study coauthor Barbara Stranger of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine tells Science. “In the future, this knowledge may contribute to personalized medicine, where we consider biological sex as one of the relevant components of an individual’s characteristics,” she says in a statement issued by the Centre for Genome Regulation in Barcelona, where some of the researchers who participated in the GTEx project work.

Another of the studies bolsters the association between telomere length, ancestry, and aging. Telomere length is typically measured in blood cells; GTEx researchers examined it in 23 different tissue types and found blood is indeed a good proxy for overall length in other tissues. The team also showed that, as previously reported, shorter telomeres were associated with aging and longer ones were found in people of African ancestry. But not all earlier results held; the authors didn’t see a pattern of longer telomeres in females or constantly shorter telomeres across the tissues of smokers as previous studies had.

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Sep 12, 2020

Cancer Projects to Diversify Genetic Research Receive New Grants

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Because much cancer research and clinical trials have been based on white populations, efforts to explore the ways race and ethnicity influence disease are underway.

Sep 11, 2020

This Horse Cloned from 40-Year-Old Material Could Save Its Species

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Recently, San Diego Zoo partnered up with the wildlife preservation group Revive and Restore and a pet cloning company ViaGen Equine to create an exact copy of Kuporovic. The embryo was planted in a surrogate mother, a common horse.

Shawn Walker, the chief science officer at ViaGen Equine reports “This new Przewalski’s colt was born fully healthy and reproductively normal. He is head butting and kicking when his space is challenged, and he is demanding milk supply from his surrogate mother.”

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Sep 9, 2020

Kurt the cloned horse was created using 40-year-old genetic material

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

An endangered type of horse has successfully been cloned by scientists.

Kurt is a newborn Przewalski’s horse, a rare and endangered horse native.

He was born this year on August 6 after experts used genetic material that had been cryopreserved for 40 years.

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Sep 8, 2020

Researchers find conserved regeneration-responsive enhancers linked to tail regeneration in fish

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

A team of researchers from Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Stanford University has discovered conserved regeneration-responsive enhancers linked to tail regeneration in fish common to two species. In their paper published the journal Science, the group describes their genetic study of two fish species and what they learned about the role of conserved regeneration-responsive enhancers in allowing the fish to regenerate tail parts.

As the researchers note, some species are able to regenerate parts of their body when they are lost. For instance, lizards can regrow lost tails, while many other animals, including most mammals, cannot regrow damaged body parts. Despite much research, scientist have not been able to explain this. In this new effort, the researchers have found what they believe to be a major clue—conserved regeneration-responsive enhancers.

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Sep 6, 2020

Engineers Genetically Reprogram Yeast Cells to Become Microscopic Drug Factories

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, food, genetics

Since antiquity, cultures on nearly every continent have discovered that certain plant leaves, when chewed or brewed or rubbed on the body, could relieve diverse ailments, inspire hallucinations or, in higher dosages, even cause death. Today, pharmaceutical companies import these once-rare plants from specialized farms and extract their active chemical compounds to make drugs like scopolamine for relieving motion sickness and postoperative nausea, and atropine, to curb the drooling associated with Parkinson’s disease or help maintain cardiac function when intubating COVID-19 patients and placing them on ventilators.

Now, Stanford engineers are recreating these ancient remedies in a thoroughly modern way by genetically reprogramming the cellular machinery of a special strain of yeast, effectively transforming them into microscopic factories that convert sugars and amino acids into these folkloric drugs, in much the same way that brewers’ yeast can naturally convert sugars into alcohol.

Sep 5, 2020

Inheritance in plants can now be controlled specifically

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics

A new application of the CRISPR/Cas molecular scissors promises major progress in crop cultivation. At Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), researchers from the team of molecular biologist Holger Puchta have succeeded in modifying the sequence of genes on a chromosome using CRISPR/Cas. For the first time worldwide, they took a known chromosome modification in the thale cress model plant and demonstrated how inversions of the gene sequence can be undone and inheritance can thus be controlled specifically. The results are published in Nature Communications.

About 5,000 years ago, genetic information of thale cress was modified. To date, it has spread widely and is of major interest to science. On the chromosome 4 of the plant, a so-called occurred: The chromosome broke at two points and was reassembled again. The broken out section was reinserted, but rotated by 180°. As a result, the sequence of genes on this chromosome section was inverted. This chromosome mutation known as “Knob hk4S” in research is an example of the fact that evolution cannot only modify the genetic material of organisms, but determine it for a long term. “In inverted sections, genes cannot be exchanged between homologous during inheritance,” molecular biologist Holger Puchta, KIT, explains.

Sep 4, 2020

Nearly 100 common drugs linked to increased risk of thinking and memory problems

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

MINNEAPOLIS — A new study is sounding the alarm for patients taking dozens of common prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Researchers find that taking a particular class of drug, anticholinergics, increases the risk of developing mild thinking and memory problems.

The study shows there are about 100 of these types of drugs in widespread use. These medications treat everything from colds to high blood pressure to depression.

The research, published in the journal Neurology, finds that people with genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease are particularly susceptible to these issues. Overall, scientists reveal patients with no cognitive issues are 47 percent more likely to develop a mental impairment if they’re taking at least one anticholinergic drug.

Sep 4, 2020

Researchers Identify Possible New Entry Points for SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 Into the Human Body

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

“Hotspots” of Coronavirus Infections in Human Bodies

An infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can affect multiple organs. With this in mind, researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Cornell University in the US have investigated cellular factors that could be significant for an infection. To this end, they analyzed the activity of 28 specific genes in a wide range of human tissues. Their findings, which provide a map of potentially disease-relevant factors across the human body, are published in the journal Cell Reports.

“SARS-CoV-2 not just infects the respiratory system, it has the potential to affect many other organs in the body. Even if the virus infects the respiratory system first, it is essential to be able to predict where it might go next. This aids to develop therapies. Our goal was thus to learn more about what makes the different organs susceptible to infection,” explained Dr. Vikas Bansal, a data scientist at the DZNE’s Tuebingen site. “Therefore, we looked at different tissues to see which components of the cellular machinery might be relevant for infection and also which cell types appear to be particularly susceptible.” Bansal co-authored the current paper with Manvendra Singh, a Cornell presidential fellow, and with Cedric Feschotte, professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University.

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Sep 4, 2020

The genetics of blood: A global perspective

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

What’s the risk of different human populations to develop a disease? To find out, a team led by Université de Montréal professor Guillaume Lettre created an international consortium to study the blood of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

In one of the largest studies of its kind, published today in Cell, close to 750,000 participants from five major populations—European, African, Hispanic, East Asian and South Asian—were tested to see the effect of on characteristics in their .

These characteristics include such things as hemoglobin concentration and platelet counts.

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