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Tag: Genetic

Study: Genetic indicators help determine COPD risk

Study: Genetic indicators help determine COPD risk

Health
Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Researchers found in study published Tuesday that genetic variations in lungs can help identify people at risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which is often caused by cigarette smoke and pollution.The study -- funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health -- identified people with low, but stable, lung function early in life who developed COPD.For the study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists were attempting to learn why not all smokers develop COPD, but many non-smokers do."This work raises many interesting questions for researchers. Understanding precisely why these genes influence the development of COPD may lead to entirely new and more ...
Study reveals dramatic loss of genetic diversity among Columbia River Chinook salmon

Study reveals dramatic loss of genetic diversity among Columbia River Chinook salmon

Science
Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Genetic diversity helps species survive and adapt to changing environmental conditions. Unfortunately for the Columbia River Chinook salmon, the species has lost nearly two-thirds of its genetic diversity.Scientists at Washington State University collected and analyzed DNA samples from salmon found in the Snake and Columbia rivers. They compared their genome to DNA samples from salmon bones dating to 7,000 years ago.The results -- published this week in the journal PLOS One -- show the salmon has experienced a dramatic decline in genetic diversity.Researchers aren't sure what's driving the decline but believe the arrival of European settlers in the 1800s played a significant role."The big question is: Is it the dams or was it this huge fishing pressure when Europeans arriv...
CRISPR breakthrough may enable treatment for genetic diseases

CRISPR breakthrough may enable treatment for genetic diseases

Health
Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Scientists have modified the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology to edit genes without creating gaps in the genetic code. The breakthrough could pave the way for use of the technology to treat human diseases like diabetes, kidney disease and muscular dystrophy.CRISPR/Cas9 technology relies on the creation of double-strand breaks, or DSBs, in the genomic regions targeted for manipulation. Scientists have used the technology to augment the genes of a variety of species, but most scientists have voiced opposition to creating such breaks in the human genome.In a new proof-of-concept study, detailed this week in the journal Cell, researchers with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies showed they could use CRISPR technology to treat human diseases in mice without causing DS...
What to know about the new BRCA genetic mutation test

What to know about the new BRCA genetic mutation test

Health
A new genetic testing kit that hits the market today is the most affordable, and arguably one of the simplest, ways for women to find out if they have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Here is what women should know about BRCA gene mutation testing, including how it works, who should actually consider getting it and the new convenient test that one woman already credits for helping detect her cancer early. The two BRCA genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) normally help protect women from cancer, however, some women may have mutations to their BRCA genes, which can actually lead to cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If untreated, women with a BRCA gene mutation are seven times more likely to get breast cancer, and 30 times more likely to get ovaria...
Genetic risk factors for disease can be affected by environment

Genetic risk factors for disease can be affected by environment

Health
Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A study out Wednesday by a team of U.S. and German researchers has found that genetic variants affect how much gene expression changes in response to disease.The study, published in Nature Communications, involved researchers analyzing blood from 134 volunteers, and treated monocytes, or white blood cells, in the laboratory with three components to simulate infection with bacteria or virus."Our defense mechanisms against microbial pathogens rely on white blood cells that are specialized to detect infection. Upon encounter of microbes, these cells trigger cellular defense programs via activating and repressing the expression of hundreds of genes," said Dr. Veit Hornung of the Ludwig-Maxmilians-Universität in Munich, formerly from the University of Bonn.Researchers analyzed