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Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012 - 10:22:56 PM
Genetics Channel

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Latest Research : Genetics

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New method identified the specific gene involved with high cholesterol

Sep 4, 2005 - 10:08:00 AM
"The potential to use this approach to address the causes of serious human diseases is enormous. This might well be a landmark publication."

[RxPG] Until now, the genetic causes of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, have proven very elusive. A new approach, reported in Elsevier's journal Genomics, may soon put an end to this. Scientists have successfully used this method to identify the specific gene involved with high cholesterol.

The genetics of some human diseases can be quite easily defined: a simple mutation in a single gene causes it to malfunction or be inactivated. The gene's mutation can then be shown to be the direct cause of the disease. Unfortunately, however, the genetic basis of some of the deadliest human diseases is far more complex than this often involving subtle changes to several genes on different chromosomes.

A recent paper published by Dr. Alessandra Cervino and colleagues in the journal Genomics describes a new method for identifying the elusive genes involved in such complex diseases. Using a mouse model system for human diseases, scientists have successfully used this new method to identify a gene called Insig2, which is directly involved in the control of blood cholesterol levels. This gene has been demonstrably linked with the causes of obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis in mice. As Dr. Eric Schadt, of Rosetta Inpharmatics, LLC, a subsidiary of Merck & Co. remarked, "Using this new method we have identified a gene involved with high blood cholesterol in mice, and we fully expect the human equivalent to be just as significant. This opens new doors in the potential treatment or prevention of cardiovascular disease in humans."

This new method is also directly applicable to many other diseases in human beings. According to Dr. Mark S. Boguski, Editor-in-Chief of Genomics, "The potential to use this approach to address the causes of serious human diseases is enormous. This might well be a landmark publication."

Publication: Elsevier's journal Genomics
On the web: Genomics 

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 Additional information about the news article
Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier's 7,000 employees in 71 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 2,200 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as ScienceDirect, MD Consult, Scopus, bibliographic databases, and online reference works.

Elsevier is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc , a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery. Reed Elsevier's ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

The full version of the article can be accessed via ScienceDirect or Genomics..
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