Wednesday March 20, 2019

Scientists identify 36 new genes implicated in cardiac disease

They found the transcription factor gene was directly connected to a whole network of proteins known to play a role in cardiac hypertrophy

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gene
New gene for rare genetic hair loss discovered. IANS
  • Scientists discovered 36 new genes
  • These are the genes implicated in cardiac diseases
  • These genes play a casual but important role in the diseases of heart

Researchers have identified 36 new genes that plays a causal role in cardiac hypertrophy — abnormal thickening of the heart muscle — which can lead to heart failure.

These genes can cause heart failure. Pixabay
These genes can cause heart failure. Pixabay

“This is an exciting direction for personalised medicine, and also for identifying genes and therapeutic targets for complex diseases that involve many genes,” said co-author of the study Alain Karma, professor at the Northeastern University. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four deaths in the US each year are due to heart disease.

Also Read: Heart Surgery In Infants May Cause Deafness

“The framework described in the paper can also be used to predict whether individuals suffering from a particular disease will respond to a given drug treatment,” said lead author Marc Santolini, a postdoctoral research associate at Centre for Complex Network Research.

For the study, published in the journal npj Systems Biology, the researchers took an entirely different approach — using the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel, a collection of 100 genetically different strains of mice that can be used to analyse the genetic and environmental factors underlying complex traits.

The Science of Genetics behind Gotra system
The study was done on many kinds of genes and chemicals, Wikimedia Commons

Within each strain, the mice are inbred, making them all identical twins on a genetic level. Researchers took two mice from the same strain and gave one of them a stressor drug that induces heart failure. They then compared the stressed mouse’s gene expression with its non-stressed twin.

Since the mice have the same genome, they were able to pinpoint individual genes that changed expression as a direct result of the heart stressor.

Also Read: Heart Attack Symptoms In Women Often Misinterpreted

Among the identified 36 such genes, many of these genes were previously unknown to be implicated in heart failure, the researcher said. They mentioned that one of them is known as a transcription factor, meaning it controls the expression of many other genes.

They confirmed the gene’s role by using molecular biology techniques to silence it and observe the resulting changes of expression.

blood type
It is important to take care of one’s heart to avoid major health issues. Pixabay

They found the transcription factor gene was directly connected to a whole network of proteins known to play a role in cardiac hypertrophy. IANS

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Check out the 9 Genes Responsible For Eyebrow Colours

Therefore, an in-depth understanding of the pigmentation genes will help improve the treatment of these diseases

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Get Those Expressive Eyes With Perfect Eyebrows
Get Those Expressive Eyes With Perfect Eyebrows. Pixabay

An international research team has for the first time identified nine genes responsible for eyebrow colours.

Eyebrow colour is one of the most recognisable visual traits of the human body. It has a strong correlation with hair colour, but scientists believe in the existence of overlapping and unique genetic components for both traits.

Previous studies on human eyes, hair, and skin colour have identified multiple gene variants, but no findings for eyebrow colour have been reported as of yet.

For the new study, researchers from China, the Netherlands, Australia, Britain and the US analysed samples of 6,513 European individuals, and graded colours into four categories: red, blond, brown and black, Xinhua reported.

They found that eight genes, previously known pigmentation genes, could affect both eyebrow and hair colour, such as gene variant MC1R, responsible for both blond eyebrows and red hair.

In addition, C10orf11 is the newly-identified gene that only affects eyebrow colours.

Beware of too-thin brows as it can actually make you look older.
Beware of too-thin brows as it can actually make you look older. Pixabay

With these findings, researchers developed an eyebrow colour prediction model and are ready to improve it by studying the different age distributions.

Such a DNA-based eyebrow colour prediction model would improve the human phenotype research and be useful in future forensic applications, said lead author Liu Fan, researcher at the Beijing Institute of Genomics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“Based on the new discoveries, we can more accurately infer individual hair, eyes, skin, eyebrow colour and other phenotypic information just from a DNA sample,” Fan said in the paper published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Also Read- Nose of Kids Hold Clues to Serious Lung Infections

Eyebrow colour is controlled by genes that affect production of pigment. Melanin, for example, is a protective pigment that can block the ultraviolet radiation. Melanin-related gene abnormalities can lead to many diseases, such as albinism, and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Therefore, an in-depth understanding of the pigmentation genes will help improve the treatment of these diseases, the researchers noted. (IANS)