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.
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.
Owing to higher level of outdoor air pollution during summers, dogs born during this time are more likely to be at higher risk of heart disease, according to a study.
For both dogs and humans, outside air pollution during pregnancy and at the time of birth appears to play a role in later development of heart disease.
Overall, dogs have a 0.3 to 2 per cent risk of developing heart disease depending on breed, but among those that are genetically predisposed to the heart disease, the birth month difference in risk was found to be marginal.
However, breeds not genetically predisposed to the disease, such as Norfolk terrier, Berger Picard, American Staffordshire terrier, English toy spaniel, Bouvier des flandres, Border terrier and Havanese were also found to be at highest risk.
This suggests that the effect supports an environmental mechanism, the researchers said, in a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, also supports earlier findings in humans pointing to the role of early gestational exposure to fine air particulates and increased risk of heart disease later in life.
“It’s important to study dogs because the canine heart is a remarkably similar model to the human cardiovascular system,” said Mary Regina Boland, Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.
“Also, humans and dogs share their lives together and are exposed to similar environmental effects, so seeing this birth season-cardiovascular disease relationship in both species illuminates mechanisms behind this birth-season disease relationship,” Boland added.
Because dogs’ pregnancies are shorter than humans (lasting only 2 months), pollution as a possible mechanism is still thought to be through the mother’s inhalation of air pollution effecting the uterine environment, which in turn affects the developing cardiovascular system of the baby or puppy, the study showed.
For the new study, the team examined 129,778 canines encompassing 253 different breeds.
Inching closer to cracking the 50-year-old puzzle of how temperature turns baby turtles male or female, researchers have uncovered a molecular link that connects temperature with sexual development. In turtles and other reptiles, whether an egg hatches male or female depends on the temperature of its nest.