Tag Archive genetic

Swine flu outbreak in India raises concern: New strain of H1N1 may carry dangerous mutations

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The findings, which appear in the March 11 issue of Cell Host & Microbe, contradict previous reports from Indian health officials that the strain has not changed from the version of H1N1 that emerged in 2009 and has been circulating around the world ever since. With very little scientific data available about the new strain, the MIT researchers stress the need for better surveillance to track the outbreak and to help scientists to determine how to respond to this influenza variant. …

New tool provides maps of protein interactions for 2,800 diseases

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Scientists working in the Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology Lab have included the more than 23,000 documented genetic mutations that affect the function of 2,000 proteins in an open-access web tool, and have positioned them on the map of known interactions between human proteins. dSysMap can be accessed free of charge at http://dsysmap.irbbarcelona.org, and scientists from around the world can add their data in an anonymous manner. Developed entirely at IRB Barcelona, dSysMap (“Disease-mutations Systemic Mapping”) provides molecular details about how mutations in certain proteins alter interactions with other proteins, thus affecting the correct funcion of cellular processes. The tool has explained, for example, why mutations in a single protein can cause two distinct diseases or why mutations in different proteins can trigger the same condition. …

Insect and mammal ovulation more alike than not?

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We have a general idea of the timing of and the hormones involved in ovulation in humans. What we don’t understand are the precise mechanics regulating how the egg escapes from the follicle of cells encasing it in the ovary…

New target for prostate cancer treatment discovered

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Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, after skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS projects more than 27,000 deaths from prostate cancer in 2015 and is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer. One man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime…

Women back idea of more breast screens for those at high risk of cancer

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Fewer women (60 per cent) would be happy to be screened less often if they were found to be at lower risk. More than 940 women from across the UK were asked for their views on the possibility of tailoring breast screening to people’s genetic risk in a study funded by Cancer Research UK and The Eve Appeal…

An extra protein gives naked mole rats more power to stop cancer

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The protein is associated with a cluster of genes (called a locus) that is also found in humans and mice. It’s the job of that locus to encode–or carry the genetic instructions for synthesizing –several cancer-fighting proteins. As Professor of Biology Vera Gorbunova explains, the locus found in naked mole rats encodes a total of four cancer-fighting proteins, while the human and mouse version encodes only three proteins. …

Parkinson’s gene linked to lung cancer

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The findings are published in American Journal of Human Genetics. Through whole exome sequencing, researchers identified a link between a mutation in PARK2, a gene associated with early-onset Parkinson’s disease, and familial lung cancer. The researchers sequenced the exomes (protein coding region of the genome) of individuals from a family with multiple cases of lung cancer. They then studied the PARK2 gene in additional families affected by lung cancer…

Hot on the trail of hepatitis-liver cancer connection

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For the study, which was published in Nature Communications, the group performed whole genomic sequencing on 30 individual tumors classified as liver cancer displaying a biliary phenotype. This type of cancer originates in the liver, but is different from hepatocellular carcinoma, the dominant form of primary liver cancer, and is generally more aggressive, with poorer prognosis. …

Tool to better classify tumor cells developed for personalized cancer treatments

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Just as cancer is not a single disease, but a collection of many diseases, an individual tumor is not likely to be comprised of just one type of cancer cell. In fact, the genetic mutations that lead to cancer in the first place also often result in tumors with a mix of cancer cell subtypes. The WPI team developed a new statistical model that uses an advanced algorithm to identify these multiple genetic subtypes in solid tumors by analyzing gene expression data from a small biopsy sample…

Scientists challenge efficacy of folfiri in a colorectal cancer subtype

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Conclusions from the analysis, led by Manuel Hidalgo, Director of the Clinical Research Programme at CNIO, are in response to previous work published in the same journal in March, 2014 (Sadanandam et al). By means of analysing gene expression profiles, Sadanandam’s team designed a classification for colon cancer based on five subtypes, associating one of them, the stemlike subtype, with a better drug response to FOLFIRI; the standard treatment for this tumour type. Specifically, in a 21-patient group, 7 were classified as this subtype, 5 of whom (70%) exhibited a positive response to FOLFIRI. The authors of this article therefore concluded that the classification based on gene expression profiles is directly related to the drug response…