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CCMB, CDFD to Address the Genetic Disease Burden of Indian Population

The institutes have also mutually agreed to undertake training and educational activities in the field of genetic diagnostics

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CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) will work together. Pixabay

India’s two premier national institutes involved in the cutting edge biological research in genetics on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to address the genetic disease burden of Indian population.

CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) will work together to maximize the potential of both the institutes in human disease diagnostics.

CCMB director Dr. Rakesh K Mishra and CDFD director Dr Debashis Mitra signed the MoUs, the objectives of which include provision of quality DNA based diagnostic services to the public at lower costs, to develop newer diagnostic methods and to engage in scientific research to improve understanding of human genetic disorders.

The institutes have also mutually agreed to undertake training and educational activities in the field of genetic diagnostics.

CCMB, CDFD, Genetic Disease
India’s two premier national institutes involved in the cutting edge biological research in genetics. Pixabay

According to a joint statement by the two institutes, more than 50 lakh babies are born each year with genetic disease in India.

“The burden of these disorders has its effects on the economic and social structure of the society. Most of these disorders are presently untreatable and for those which can be treated, the treatment is very expensive.

The only option to address this problem is the preventive approach which requires prenatal diagnosis and genetic counselling.

Genetic disorders form a major group of the non-communicable diseases. Congenital malformations and genetic disorders are the third commonest cause of mortality in neonates in cities.

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They noted that the last few years witnessed tremendous changes in the field of genetics with rapid advancements in technology. The advent of efficient and affordable DNA sequencing technology has a direct impactAin improving the understanding of human disease, enabling better ways of diagnosis and treatment.

For more than two decades both CCMB and CDFD have been offering genetic diagnostic services as well, which has made a difference, it said. (IANS)

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Research Shows that People with Genetic Autism are Likely to Report Self-Harm Thoughts

For the study, the research team calculated the genetic likelihood for autism in 100,000 individuals from the UK Biobank Study

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Autism
Those with the highest genetic predisposition to Autism on an average have 28 per cent increase in childhood maltreatment and a 33 per cent increase in self-harm and suicidal ideation compared to those with the lowest genetic predisposition to Autism. Pixabay

People with a higher genetic likelihood of autism are more likely to report higher childhood maltreatment, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, according to a new study by an Indian-origin researcher.

The study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, shows that the findings hold true even for those with a higher genetic likelihood of autism rather than a formal diagnosis.

Previous studies from the University of Cambridge established that autistic individuals experience higher levels of self-harm, including suicidal thoughts and feelings, and higher rates of childhood maltreatment.

“This new study extends our earlier work by showing that individuals who carry more of the genes associated with autism have higher risks for maltreatment and self-harm,” said study researcher Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor at University of Cambridge.

“Our work highlighting unacceptably higher rates of suicide in autistic people was published 5 years ago, yet almost no new support has been provided,” Baron-Cohen added.

For the study, the research team calculated the genetic likelihood for autism in 100,000 individuals from the UK Biobank Study who had their DNA analysed and had also provided self-reported information about childhood maltreatment, suicidal ideation and self-harm.

Those with the highest genetic predisposition to autism on an average have 28 per cent increase in childhood maltreatment and a 33 per cent increase in self-harm and suicidal ideation compared to those with the lowest genetic predisposition to autism.

Autism
This new study extends our earlier work by showing that individuals who carry more of the genes associated with Autism have higher risks for maltreatment and self-harm. Pixabay

“While we have found an association between a genetic likelihood for autism and adverse life events, we cannot conclude the former causes the latter,” said study lead author and Indian-origin researcher Varun Warrier.

“We suspect this association reflects that genes partly influence how many autistic traits you have, and some autistic traits such as difficulties in social understanding may lead to a person to be vulnerable to maltreatment, Warrier added.

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This research highlights the risks of such adverse outcomes for those with a high number of autistic traits, if adequate safeguarding and support aren’t provided. (IANS)