Genetics News

Harvard Researchers Explain the Reason for Genetic Obesity

August 25, 2015

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Researchers Explain the Reason for Genetic Obesity

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and MIT reeval a genetic circuit that controls whether our bodies burn or store fat. Like many other conditions, obesity is caused by an interplay between genetic and environmental factors. While efforts to combat the obesity epidemic will need to include changes in diet and exercise, insights into the genes […]

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Researchers Discover Pathway That Controls Metabolism

August 20, 2015

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Researchers Discover a Switch That Controls Metabolism

By analyzing the cellular circuitry underlying the strongest genetic association with obesity, a team of researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School have unveiled a new pathway that controls human metabolism by prompting our adipocytes, or fat cells, to store fat or burn it away. Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of […]

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International Research Collaboration Reveals Mutations in DCHS1 Cause Mitral Valve Prolapse

August 19, 2015

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Researchers Reveal Gene for Mitral Valve Prolapse

Researchers reveal that mutations of the DCHS1 gene cause a common form of mitral valve prolapse. An international research collaboration led by Harvard Medical School investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital has identified the first gene whose mutations cause the common form of mitral valve prolapse, a heart valve disorder that affects almost 2.5 percent of […]

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New Biosensors Turn Bacteria Into a Source of Natural Energy

August 13, 2015

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Researchers Turn Engineered Bacteria into a Source of Natural Energy

New biosensors enable complex genetic reprogramming of common bacteria like E. coli. The process could be leveraged for sustainable biomanufacturing, using the metabolic processes of bacterial cells to generate valuable chemicals and fuels. Super-productive factories of the future could employ fleets of genetically engineered bacterial cells, such as common E. coli, to create valuable chemical […]

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Newly Developed Simple Protein Plays Active Role in Cellular Function

August 11, 2015

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Yale Scientists Develope Simple New Proteins

Scientists from Yale University have created a synthetic protein that is active, despite its simplicity. Yale scientists have developed simple new proteins almost devoid of chemical diversity that still play a surprisingly active and specific role in cellular function, causing cells to act like cancer cells, they report August 10 in the Proceedings of the […]

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Yale Scientists Reveal ‘Major Player’ in Skin Cancer Genes

July 27, 2015

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NF1 Identified as Major Player in Skin Caner Genes

Researchers from Yale University have confirmed that a gene known as NF1 is a “major player” in the development of skin cancer. A multidisciplinary team at Yale, led by Yale Cancer Center members, has defined a subgroup of genetic mutations that are present in a significant number of melanoma skin cancer cases. Their findings shed […]

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CCNE1 Gene Turns Back Cellular Clock

May 22, 2015

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Researchers Discover Human-Specific Gene That Turns Back Cellular Clock

Yale researchers have discovered a gene that turns back the cellular clock, greatly aiding the reprogramming of mature cells. An exhaustive analysis of factors that allow mature cells to become like embryonic stem cells again has revealed a spliced form of a gene found only in primates that greatly aids the reprogramming of mature cells. […]

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Nanoparticles Deliver PNA Molecules to Correct Mutation in Cystic Fibrosis

April 28, 2015

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Scientists Correct Mutation in Cystic Fibrosis

New research details how a team of scientists delivered peptide nucleic acids and donor DNA via microscopic nanoparticles to successfully corrected the most common mutation in the gene that causes cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited, life-threatening disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system. It is most commonly caused by a mutation in […]

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Scientists Discover a Gene for Brain Size

March 4, 2015

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Scientists Identify a Gene for Human Brain Size

A team of researchers has identified for the first time a gene (ARHGAP11B) that is only present in humans and contributes to the reproduction of basal brain stem cells, triggering a folding of the neocortex. About 99 percent of human genes are shared with chimpanzees. Only the small remainder sets us apart. However, we have […]

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Researchers Uncover Genetic Trigger for Immune Response

February 3, 2015

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Yale Uncovers Genetic Trigger for Immune Response

Yale researchers have identified an unexpected relationship between mtDNA and the innate immune response, showing a new source of inflammation that could promote common diseases and aging. The thousands of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) molecules present in each cell are known primarily for their role converting food and oxygen into energy. But Yale researchers have identified […]

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A Link between Inflammation and Cancer

January 20, 2015

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Study Details a Link Between Inflammation and Cancer

New research from MIT reveals a link between inflammation and cancer, showing that the timing of inflammation determines whether potentially cancerous mutations may arise. A new study from MIT reveals one reason why people who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases such as colitis have a higher risk of mutations that cause cancer. The researchers also […]

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The Role of Genetics Varies Over Time

December 30, 2014

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Nature and Nurture Vary Over Time

New research from Yale University shows that the effect of genes may depend on the total, historical environment in which the researcher and subject are embedded. Nature and nurture have found a new companion — historical context. A new study has produced the best evidence yet that the role of genetics in complex traits, including […]

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Gene-Editing System Allows Rapid, Large-Scale Studies of Gene Function

December 11, 2014

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Researchers Develop a New Technique to Study Gene Function

Using a gene-editing system that was originally developed to delete specific genes, researchers from MIT developed a new technique to reliably turn on any gene of their choosing in living cells. This new application for the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system should allow scientists to more easily determine the function of individual genes, according to Feng Zhang, […]

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Research Reveals New Strategy to Control Cellular Identity and Fate

December 5, 2014

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A New Strategy to Control Cellular Identity and Fate

Newly published research suggests a new strategy to control cellular identity and fate, revealing that depleting or knocking out a chemical tag on RNA keeps embryonic stem cells in suspended animation. A team of scientists that included researchers from UCLA has discovered a novel mechanism of RNA regulation in embryonic stem cells. The findings are […]

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Engineered Bacteria Store Memories of Chemical Exposure

November 17, 2014

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Engineered Bacteria Can Store Memories of Chemical Exposure

New research from MIT reveals that engineered E. coli can store long-term memories of chemical exposure and other events in their DNA. MIT engineers have transformed the genome of the bacterium E. coli into a long-term storage device for memory. They envision that this stable, erasable, and easy-to-retrieve memory will be well suited for applications […]

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Human Body Weight Influenced by Microbes in the Gut

November 7, 2014

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Research Shows Weight Influenced by Microbes in the Gut

New research from King’s College London and Cornell University reveals that genetic makeup influences whether people are fat or thin by shaping which types of microbes thrive in our body, paving the way for personalized probiotic therapies that are optimized to reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases based on an individual’s genetic make-up. By studying […]

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Scientists Come Together to Reveal Cancer’s Strategies

November 5, 2014

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Scientists Come Together to Reveal Cancer’s Strategies

In a new study, a group of scientists detail how they fused the power of statistical physics and artificial intelligence into a mathematical toolkit that can turn cancer-mutation data into multidimensional models that show how specific mutations alter the social networks of proteins in cells. While this may sound like the setup to some late-night […]

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Researchers Show Embryos Receive Parent-Specific Layers of Information

October 13, 2014

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Study Reveals Embryos Receive Parent Specific Layers of Information

New research from San Francisco State University sheds light on the multilayered process of how a sperm and egg pass along information needed for successful reproduction, revealing that embryos receive parent-specific layers of information. The information that interprets the genetic code in a new embryo differs depending on whether it comes from the father or […]

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