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Nine new osteoarthritis genes discovered

The team looked for genes that were active in the progression of the disease by extracting the relevant cells from healthy and diseased tissue

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Osteoporosis
Bone loss in adults. IANS
  • Researchers have discovered nine new genes responsible for osteoarthritis
  • These can help in developing new therapies
  • This research may also help in reducing the risk of the disease

Researchers have discovered nine novel genes for osteoarthritis that may open the door to new targeted therapies for this debilitating disease in the future.

Of the nine genes associated with osteoarthritis, researchers identified five genes in particular that differed significantly in their expression in healthy and diseased tissue.

These genes can help create new therapies. blogs.discovermagazine.com

The five genes present novel targets for future research into therapies, the researcher said. According to the researchers, there is no treatment for osteoarthritis. The disease is managed with pain relief and culminates in joint replacement surgery, which has variable outcomes.

“These results are an important step towards understanding the genetic causes of osteoarthritis and take us closer to uncovering the mechanism behind the disease,” said co-author of the study, Eleni Zengini from the University of Sheffield.

For the study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers investigated the genetics behind osteoarthritis, as well as the diseases and traits that are linked to it.

The team studied 16.5 million DNA variations. Following combined analysis in up to 30,727 people with osteoarthritis and nearly 300,000 people without osteoarthritis in total — the controls –, scientists discovered nine new genes that were associated with osteoarthritis.

This may also help in finding ways to reduce the risk of the disease.

The researchers then investigated the role of the nine new genes in osteoarthritis, by studying both normal cartilage and diseased cartilage from individuals who had a joint replacement.

The team looked for genes that were active in the progression of the disease by extracting the relevant cells from healthy and diseased tissue, studying the levels of proteins in the tissue and sequencing the RNA — the messenger that carries instructions from DNA for controlling the production of proteins. IANS

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Novel DNA Tool Can Help You Trace Your Origins to Vikings

The researchers found that ancient genomes typically consist of hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of markers

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DNA
New DNA tool can trace your origins to Vikings, Pixabay

Think, that your ancestors were Roman Britons, Vikings or ancient Israelites? A new DNA tool can help you trace your similarity to these ancient people who once roamed the earth, say researchers.

Currently the study of ancient DNA requires a lot of information to classify a skeleton to a population or find its biogeographical origins.

But, scientists from the UK’s University of Sheffield, defined a new concept called Ancient Ancestry Informative Markers (aAIMs) — a group of mutations that are sufficiently informative to identify and classify ancient populations.

They found that the identification of a small group of aAIMs that can be used to classify skeletons to ancient populations.

“We developed a new method that finds aAIMs efficiently and have proved that it is accurate,” said lead author Eran Elhaik, from Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.

The new tool identifies aAIMs by combining traditional methodology with a novel one that takes into account a mixture.

DNA double helix
DNA double helix. Wikimedia

People are currently unable to trace their primeval origins because commercial microarrays, such as the ones used for genetic genealogy, do not have relevant markers.

But aAIMs is like finding the fingerprints of ancient people, Elhaik noted.

“It allows testing of a small number of markers – that can be found in a commonly available array – and you can ask what part of your genome is from Roman Britons or Viking, or Chumash Indians, or ancient Israelites, etc,” he explained.

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“We can ask any question we want about these ancient people as long as someone sequenced these ancient markers.”

The researchers found that ancient genomes typically consist of hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of markers.

“We demonstrated that only 13,000 markers are needed to make accurate population classifications for ancient genomes and while the field of ancient forensics does not exist yet, these aAIMs can help us get much closer to ancient people,” Elhaik said. (IANS)