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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
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  • 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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Your Genes May Not Help You Live Long

The answer might lie in assortative mating. People tend to select partners with traits like their own -- in this case, how long they live, they explained

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Your Genes May Not Help You Live Long. Pixabay

Although long life tends to run in families, genes has far less influence on life span than previously thought, according to a new analysis of an aggregated set of family trees of more than 400 million people.

The study suggests that the heritability of life span is well below past estimates, which failed to account for our tendency to select partners with similar traits to our own.

“We can potentially learn many things about the biology of ageing from human genetics, but if the heritability of life span is low, it tempers our expectations about what types of things we can learn and how easy it will be,” said lead author Graham Ruby, from Calico Life Sciences — a US-based research and development company.

“It helps contextualise the questions that scientists studying ageing can effectively ask,” she added

Heritability measures how much life span can be explained by genetic differences, excluding differences like lifestyle, sociocultural factors and accidents.

While previous estimates of human life span heritability have ranged from around 15 to 30 percent, in the new study it was likely no more than seven per cent, perhaps even lower.

For the study, published in the journal Genetics, the team used online genealogy resource with subscriber-generated public family trees representing six billion ancestors.

Each of them was connected to another by either a parent-child or a spouse-spouse relationship. Pixabay

Removing redundant entries and those from people who were still living, they stitched the remaining pedigrees together included more than 400 million people, largely Americans of European descent.

Each of them was connected to another by either a parent-child or a spouse-spouse relationship.

They focused on relatives who were born across the 19th and early 20th centuries, and noted that the life span of spouses tended to be correlated, more similar than in siblings of opposite gender.

Comparing different types of in-laws, they found that siblings-in-law and first-cousins-in-law had correlated life spans, despite not being blood relatives and not generally sharing households.

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The finding that a person’s sibling’s spouse’s sibling or their spouse’s sibling’s spouse had a similar life span to their own made it clear that something else was at play, the researchers said.

The answer might lie in assortative mating. People tend to select partners with traits like their own — in this case, how long they live, they explained. (IANS)

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