Tag Archives: genetic variation

Link between low vitamin D blood levels and heart disease varies by race

Low vitamin D blood levels are linked to greater risk of heart disease in whites and Chinese, but not in blacks and Hispanics, according to a study appearing this week in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Growing evidence has suggested that low blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin are associated with higher risk of developing coronary heart disease among whites. Few of these studies included substantial numbers of people from other races. (more…)

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Great ape genetic diversity catalog frames primate evolution and future conservation

A model of great ape history during the past 15 million years has been fashioned through the study of genetic variation in a large panel of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.  The catalog of great ape genetic diversity, the most comprehensive ever, elucidates the evolution and population histories of great apes from Africa and Indonesia. The resource will likely also aid in current and future conservation efforts which strive to preserve natural genetic diversity in populations.

More than 75 scientists and wildlife conservationists from around the world assisted the genetic analysis of 79 wild and captive-born great apes. They represent all six great ape species: chimpanzee, bonobo, Sumatran orangutan, Bornean orangutan, eastern gorilla, and western lowland gorilla, and seven subspecies.  Nine human genomes were included in the sampling. (more…)

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More Than Matters of the Heart

A team of researchers, including Mary-Frances O’Connor at the UA, has found a genetic variability linked to stress and inflammation that may impact the health of some widows and widowers.

The death of a spouse can be one of life’s most distressing events, and for many years bereavement researchers have noted increased mortality risk in some widows and widowers. This has been called the “widowhood effect.”

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Hannover Medical School in Germany, the University of Ulm in Germany and the University of Arizona have found a genetic variability linked to stress and inflammation that may impact the health of some widows and widowers. (more…)

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Cancer Genes Differ in Different Parts of a Tumour

Taking a sample from just one part of a tumour may not give a full picture of its‘genetic landscape’, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The findings could help explain why attempts at using single biopsies to identify biomarkers to which personalised cancer treatments can be targeted have not been more successful. (more…)

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New Mouse Reference Library Should Speed Gene Discoveries

Genetic information provided by a large group of specially designed mice could pave the way to faster human health discoveries and transform the ways people battle and prevent disease.

In 15 papers published Feb. 16 in the Genetics Society of America journals Genetics and G3:Genes/Genomes/Genetics, researchers from North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Jackson Laboratory and other universities and labs across the globe highlight a new genetic resource that could aid development of more effective treatments for any number of human diseases. (more…)

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‘Social Relationships in Animals Have a Genetic Basis’

The ability to tolerate aggression is partly genetic, UCLA life scientists report in the first study to demonstrate a genetic component to a social network trait in a non-human population. 

“The ability to tolerate aggression is passed on across generations; there is genetic variation in the ability to tolerate aggression,” said the study co-author Daniel T. Blumstein, professor and chair of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCLA. 

Blumstein, a leader in the field of applying social network statistics to animals, and his colleagues studied four groups of yellow-bellied marmots, which are related to squirrels, over six years in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Each group included 15 to 30 marmots.  (more…)

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