Tuesday November 13, 2018

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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New gene for rare genetic hair loss discovered. IANS
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  • 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.

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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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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.

Also Read- Mars Curiosity Rover Returns Back to Work: NASA

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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