Sunday October 21, 2018

Blocking a gene may prevent heart diseases: Study

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Toronto: Blocking the expression of a gene may help prevent illnesses linked to excessive fat in blood such as cardiovascular and pancreatic diseases, says a new study. dna-163466_640

The researchers found that shutting down the expression of this gene decreases in blood the concentration of triglycerides – lipids that come from fats carried by our food or produced by our bodies – even in various severe forms of hypertriglyceridemia.

Higher levels of triglycerides in blood or hypertriglyceridemia is often associated with frequent health issues, such as obesity or diabetes.

The gene in question codes for the apoC-III protein.

“Our study suggests that the protein apoC-III plays a key role in the management of triglycerides. Triglycerides, like cholesterol, are lipids,” said first author of the study Daniel Gaudet from University of Montreal in Canada.

“Depending on the cause, the accumulation of triglycerides in blood is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and pancreatic illnesses, and other complications,” Gaudet noted.

“Our conclusions are promising in terms of the prevention of the risk associated with the accumulation of fat in blood,” he pointed out.

The research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

(IANS)

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Gene Therapy Wins Big at Portugal’s Champalimaud Foundation

The foundation, which focuses on neuroscience and oncology research at its Lisbon base, was set up at the bequest of Portugal's late industrialist Antonio Champalimaud.

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Gene Theory
ean Bennett, Albert Maguire, Robin Ali, James Bainbridge, Samuel Jacobson, T. Michael Redmond and Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa attend the 2018 Antonio Champalimaud Vision Awards ceremony at Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal, VOA

Seven scientists in the United States and Britain who have come up with a revolutionary gene therapy cure for a rare genetic form of childhood blindness won a 1 million euro ($1.15 million) prize Tuesday, Portugal’s Champalimaud Foundation said.

Established in 2006, the annual award for work related to vision is one of the world’s largest science prizes, more than the latest 9 million Swedish crown ($987,000) Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

“This is the first, and still only, example of successful gene therapy in humans that corrects an inherited genetic defect and is therefore a milestone in medical therapeutics,” said Alfred Sommer, Dean Emeritus of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and chairman of the award jury.

Gene
Colour sensitivity can also led to Retinal Diseases/Blindness. Pixabay

One of those honored, Michael Redmond of the National Eye Institute in Maryland, had traced the cause of the disease, Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), to a mutated gene.

Three cooperating research teams later managed to replace the gene in the eye, restoring vision to treated children and adults with one form of LCA and “enabling the entire field of gene therapy for human disease,” the foundation said.

These teams are comprised of U.S. scientists Jean Bennett and Albert Maguire; Samuel Jacobson and William Hauswirth; and Britons Robin Ali and James Bainbridge.

Also Read: India Aims Towards Highest Level Of Health

Their gene augmentation therapy involved the delivery of healthy genes using engineered harmless viruses, described by the foundation as “an elegant solution.”

The foundation, which focuses on neuroscience and oncology research at its Lisbon base, was set up at the bequest of Portugal’s late industrialist Antonio Champalimaud who died in 2004. The first vision prize was awarded in 2006. (VOA)

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