||Last Updated: Nov 17th, 2006 - 22:35:04
New research into csd genes could help designing strategies for breeding honey bees
Three years ago, scientists pinpointed a gene called csd that determines gender in honey bees, and now a research team led by University of Michigan evolutionary biologist Jianzhi "George" Zhang has unraveled details of how the gene evolved.
Oct 27, 2006, 16:46
Williams Syndrome, the brain and music
Children with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, just love music and will spend hours listening to or making music. Despite averaging an IQ score of 60, many possess a great memory for songs, an uncanny sense of rhythm, and the kind of auditory acuity, than can discern differences between different vacuum cleaner brands.
Oct 5, 2006, 00:58
Genetic mutation identified as cause of cranio-lenticulo-sutural dysplasia
A research team led by a UC Davis Children’s Hospital scientist has identified a genetic mutation as the cause of a congenital craniofacial birth defect called cranio-lenticulo-sutural dysplasia. The mutation closes off a pathway that is vital to the transport of cellular proteins and, in doing so, significantly alters normal growth patterns of skeletal and connective tissue. The research finding, which appears in the October issue of Nature Genetics , is independently confirmed in a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study published in the same issue
Sep 29, 2006, 16:08
Chance Fluctuations in mRNA Output in Mammalian Cells
In the drama of cell biology, both genetics and environment write the script, and chance throws in the twists of plot. In general, most cells live relatively predictable lives: divide, differentiate, and die. Yet chance leaves its imprint even in ordinary cells. For instance, bacterial or yeast cells in culture are known to produce widely different amounts of certain proteins, even when they are genetically identical. Scientists attribute such cell-to-cell variations to chance fluctuations in the cellsâ€™ ability to make these proteins. They also speculate that such fluctuations may benefit the cells in their struggle to adapt and survive.
Sep 13, 2006, 03:44
Transposon Silencing Keeps Jumping Genes in Their Place
Nearly a century ago, two geneticists described â€śrogueâ€ť pea plants with an unorthodox pattern of inheritance. William Bateson and Caroline Pellew found that crossing inferior rogues with normal plants always produced rogue offspring, suggesting that the rogue appearance was a dominant trait. The real surprise came when rogue progeny were crossed back to normal plants. Following the principles of Mendelian inheritance, these crosses should have produced a mix of normal and rogue plants, but they produced only rogue plants. The phenomenon, later dubbed â€śparamutation,â€ť allowed the rogues to break the rules by acting â€śepigeneticallyâ€ťâ€”inducing heritable changes in gene expression without DNA mutations. In one-sided interactions between gene pairs, or alleles, only â€śparamutagenicâ€ť alleles can attenuate, and eventually silence, the expression of â€śparamutableâ€ť alleles.
Sep 13, 2006, 03:40
GATA2 - predicting susceptibility to coronary artery disease
Variations in a gene that acts as a switch to turn
on other genes may predispose individuals to heart disease, an international team of researchers led by Duke University Medical Center scientists has discovered.
Aug 26, 2006, 02:15
Exploring genetics of congenital malformations
New research published in the August issue of the Journal of Cell Biology explains for the first time why congenital heart defects so often occur with limb deformities. In their research into the molecular mechanisms that control embryonic limb and heart development, Northwestern University researcher Hans-Georg Simon and his laboratory group recently identified a new protein, LMP4, which binds and regulates activity of the Tbx4 and Tbx5 transcription factors. Tbx5 and Tbx4 proteins play a key role in limb and heart formation in virtually all vertebrates, from fish to birds to mice to humans.
Aug 19, 2006, 21:42
Genome insertions and deletions (INDELs) provide expanded view of human genetic differences
Emory University scientists have identified and created a map of more than 400,000 insertions and deletions (INDELs) in the human genome that signal a little-explored type of genetic difference among individuals. INDELS are an alternative form of natural genetic variation that differs from the much-studied single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Both types of variation are likely to have a major impact on humans, including their health and susceptibility to disease.
Aug 11, 2006, 14:19
BRIT1 gene identified as protector of DNA
A single gene plays a pivotal role launching two DNA damage detection and repair pathways in the human genome, suggesting that it functions as a previously unidentified tumor suppressor gene, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report in Cancer Cell.
Aug 6, 2006, 11:17
FDA Approves Idursulfase As First Treatment for Hunter Syndrome
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Elaprase (idursulfase), the first product for the treatment of Hunter syndrome (Mucopolysaccharidosis II, or MPS II), a rare inherited disease which can lead to premature death. Elaprase is a new molecular entity, which is an active ingredient never before marketed in the United States.
Aug 2, 2006, 12:30
PARP1 inhibitors can protect Huntington's disease affected cells from damage
An enzyme known to be critical for the repair of damaged cells and the maintenance of cellular energy may be a useful target for new strategies to treat Huntington's disease (HD) and other disorders characterized by low cellular energy levels. In the August issue of Chemistry & Biology, a research team from the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND) describes their discovery of a novel inhibitor of Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP1) and their findings that PARP1 inhibitors can protect HD-affected cells from damage in laboratory assays.
Jul 30, 2006, 02:41
Genetic Gender Gap in Disease Risk, Drug Response
UCLA researchers report that thousands of genes behave differently in the same organs of males and females – something never detected to this degree. Published in the August issue of Genome Research, the study sheds light on why the same disease often strikes males and females differently, and why the genders may respond differently to the same drug.
Jul 10, 2006, 06:29
'Molecular assassin' targets disease gene
University of New South Wales (UNSW) researchers have announced they are developing a new class of experimental drug that has the potential to treat a diverse range of health problems, from inflammation and cancer through to eye and heart disease.
Jul 5, 2006, 15:16
Scientists Uncover Rules for Gene Amplification
Gene amplification plays an important role in causing cancers via activation of oncogenes. If scientists can determine the rules as to which segments of genetic material become amplified and how, oncologists and drug researchers may be able to interrupt that process and prevent the formation and growth of some tumors. Using yeast as a model organism, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered that the location of a hairpin-capped break relative to the end of the chromosome will determine the fate of the amplification event.
Jun 30, 2006, 13:17
Gene therapy protects neurons in Huntington's disease
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, and Ceregene Inc., San Diego, have successfully used gene therapy to preserve motor function and stop the anatomic, cellular changes that occur in the brains of mice with Huntington's disease (HD). This is the first study to demonstrate that, using this delivery method, symptom onset might be prevented in HD mice with this treatment.
Jun 30, 2006, 03:02
DNA damage resets the cellular circadian clock
Dartmouth Medical School geneticists have discovered that DNA damage resets the cellular circadian clock, suggesting links among circadian timing, the cycle of cell division, and the propensity for cancer. Their work, reported June 29 in Science Express, the advance electronic publication of Science, implies a protective dimension for the biological clock in addition to its pacemaker functions that play such a sweeping role in the rhythms and activities of life.
Jun 30, 2006, 02:42
Human cells use complex system of transcription-factor combinations
Scientists eager to help develop a new generation of pharmaceuticals are studying cellular proteins called transcription factors, which bind to upstream sequences of genes to turn the expression of those genes on or off. Some pharmaceutical companies are also hoping to develop drugs that selectively block the binding of transcription factors as a way to short-circuit the harmful effects of diseases, and researchers at the University of California, San Diego on June 16 reported new findings that could aid that effort.
Jun 19, 2006, 01:22
Huntingtin cleavage is caused by caspase-6
Researchers at the University of British Columbia's Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) have provided ground-breaking evidence for a cure for Huntington disease in a mouse offering hope that this disease can be relieved in humans.
Jun 17, 2006, 20:10
The risk of transmission of genetic disorders through donor's sperm
As medical technology continues to advance, fertility procedures such as in-vitro fertilization and donor insemination are becoming more commonplace. However, a study in the May issue of The Journal of Pediatrics warns that, even after thorough screenings of sperm donors, genetic disorders can be transmitted to the conceived children.
May 19, 2006, 19:25
How can DNA be damaged
Researchers have known for years that damaged DNA can lead to human diseases such as cancer, but how damage occurs--and what causes it--has remained less clear.
May 18, 2006, 02:58
Could cellular defenses against sunlight be the key to effective gene therapy?
An early study has demonstrated for the first time that laser light can target gene therapy right up to the edge of damaged cartilage, while leaving nearby healthy tissue untouched, according to an article published in the April edition of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. True repair of injuries to articular cartilage would enable millions of patients, currently consigned to worsening arthritis and joint replacement, to return to athletic exercise.
Apr 25, 2006, 19:33
Liver transplants provide metabolic cure for maple syrup urine disease
Liver transplants cured the metabolic symptoms of 11 patients with a rare but devastating genetic condition known as Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), according to a study by researchers from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Clinic for Special Children.
Apr 11, 2006, 22:28
Gene therapy helps two Germans in global first
For the first time, gene therapy has been used to alter the cells of sick adults and allow them greater resistance to bacteria and fungi, a Germany-based team of scientists said.
Apr 3, 2006, 14:38
Mutations Change the Boolean Logic of Gene Regulation
It is easy to think of a gene acting like a light bulb, switching either on or off, remaining silent, or being transcribed by the RNA-making machinery. The region of DNA that controls the gene's output is called its regulatory region, and in this simple (and too simplistic) scenario, that region would act like a simple on–off switch.
Mar 29, 2006, 06:39
Synthetic biology experiment turns up a previously unrecognized gene-expression phenomenon
An experiment designed to show how a usually innocuous bacterium regulates the expression of an unnecessary gene for green color has turned up a previously unrecognized phenomenon that could partially explain a feature of bacterial pathogenicity.
Feb 16, 2006, 19:47
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 5 (SCA5) gene pinpointed
Researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School have discovered the gene responsible for a type of ataxia, an incurable degenerative brain disease affecting movement and coordination.
Jan 23, 2006, 16:12
MDC1 protein amplifies DNA injury signals
A Mayo Clinic-led research collaboration has discovered that the protein MDC1 amplifies weak DNA injury signals so genetic repair can begin. Once amplified, even low-level damage signals become strong enough to activate the cell's natural repair processes while the injury is most tractable to repair. How this "distress call" was communicated wasn't clear until this finding, which appears in the January 20 issue of Molecular Cell. The research was conducted in collaboration with colleagues from Harvard University and the University of Texas, Austin.
Jan 21, 2006, 15:39
Breakthrough in master gene mapping
Researchers have broken new ground with their work on the key tumour suppressor gene "p53", raising hopes of better detection and treatment of cancer, a published report said Thursday.
Jan 19, 2006, 12:46
Research points to possible therapy to prevent congenital skull malformation
Craniofacial researchers have developed an animal model that explains how skull malformations occur and how they might be prevented. Birth defects of the face and skull are relatively common in humans, striking one in 500 to 1,000 babies. Defects can include cleft lip or palate, congenitally missing teeth and severe malformations of the skull. A group led by Yang Chai, chair of the division of craniofacial sciences and therapeutics in the USC School of Dentistry, has identified the genetic factor leading to malformation of the forehead and frontal part of the skull. The discovery was published online Dec. 20 by the journal Development. Children with frontal bone defects lack vital protection for their brain. They also may develop bulging, irregularly shaped heads.
Dec 25, 2005, 00:56
Scientists probe connection between regulatory DNA and disease
Through the Human Genome Project, the HapMap Project and other efforts, we are beginning to identify genes that are modified in some diseases. More difficult to measure and identify are the regulatory regions in DNA – the 'managers' of genes – that control gene activity and might be important in causing disease.
Dec 17, 2005, 15:34