Tag Archives: variant

Global Research Team Discovers New Alzheimer’s Risk Gene

Scientists have discovered a rare genetic mutation that increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The international team, led by researchers at the UCL Institute of Neurology, studied data from more than 25,000 people and found a link between a rare variant of the TREM2 gene – which is known to play a role in the immune system – and a higher risk of Alzheimer’s.

The paper, which is published in the New England Journal of Medicine, has major implications for our understanding of the causes of Alzheimer’s and the authors believe it is potentially the most influential gene discovery for the disease in the last two decades. (more…)

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Importance of Gene-Gene Interactions Shown in Study

Gaining more insight into predicting how genes affect physical or behavioral traits by charting the genotype-phenotype map holds promise to speed discoveries in personalized medicine. But figuring out exactly how genes interact has left parts of the map invisible.

In a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, North Carolina State University genetics researchers reveal some of the hidden portions of the map, showing that complicated networks of gene-gene interactions in fruit flies greatly influence the variance in quantitative traits, or characteristics that are influenced by multiple genes – like sensitivity to alcohol or aggression. (more…)

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UCLA Study Identifies Genes Linked to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Why do some people experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) while others who suffered the same ordeal do not? A new UCLA study may shed light on the answer.

UCLA scientists have linked two genes involved in serotonin production to a higher risk of developing PTSD. Published in the April 3 online edition of the Journal of Affective Disorders, the findings suggest that susceptibility to PTSD is inherited, pointing to new ways of screening for and treating the disorder. (more…)

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The Gene That Can Transform Mild Influenza in to a Life Threatening Disease

A genetic finding could help to explain why influenza becomes a life-threatening disease for some people, and yet has only a mild effect on others. Collaborative research led by scientists at UCL and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute found that people who carry a particular variant of the IFITM3 gene are significantly more likely to be hospitalised when they fall ill with influenza than those who carry other variants.

The gene plays a critical role in protecting the body against infection with influenza and a rare version of it appears to make people more susceptible to severe forms of the disease. The results are published in the journal Nature. (more…)

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Why Bad Immunity Genes Survive

*Study implicates “arms race” between genes and germs*

Biologists have found new evidence of why mice, people and other vertebrate animals carry thousands of varieties of genes to make immune-system proteins named MHCs–even though some of those genes make vertebrate animals susceptible to infections and to autoimmune diseases.

“Major histocompatibility complex” (MHC) proteins are found on the surfaces of most cells in vertebrate animals. They distinguish proteins like themselves from foreign proteins, and trigger an immune response against these foreign invaders. (more…)

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