A molecule critical to stem cell function plays a major role in determining human hair color, according to a new study. The researchers found that the blond hair is caused by a single change in the DNA that regulates the expression of a gene that encodes a protein called KITLG, also known as stem cell factor.
Duke researchers Peter Larsen, Ryan Campbell and Anne Yoder used high-throughput sequencing on sifaka blood samples to generate sequence data for more than 150,000 different sifaka antibodies -- protective molecules that latch on to bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders in the body and fight them off before they cause infection.
Researchers identified within animal models an enzyme that links genetic pathways that control aging with the death of dopamine neurons– a clinical hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.
A multicenter team of researchers report that a commercial test designed to rule out the presence of genetic biomarkers of prostate cancer may be accurate enough to exclude the need for repeat prostate biopsies in many— if not most— men.
The overall number and nature of mutations—rather than the presence of any single mutation—influences an individual’s risk of developing schizophrenia, as well as its severity, according to a study by Columbia University Medical Center researchers. The findings could have important implications for the early detection and treatment of schizophrenia.
In an attempt to catalog the human “proteome,” a team of researchers identified 193 novel proteins that came from regions of the genome not predicted to code for proteins.
A genetic variant linked to sudden cardiac death leads to protein overproduction in heart cells, scientists report. The discovery adds to scientific understanding of the causes of sudden cardiac death and of possible ways to prevent it.
Accumulation of DNA damage can cause aggressive forms of cancer and accelerated aging, so the body’s DNA repair mechanisms are normally key to good health. However, in some diseases the DNA repair machinery can become harmful. Now, scientists have discovered some of the key proteins involved in one type of DNA repair gone awry.
Researchers have discovered how a gene commonly linked to obesity—FTO—contributes to weight gain. The study shows that variations in FTO indirectly affect the function of the primary cilium, a little-understood hair-like appendage on brain and other cells.
Australia can no longer lay claim to the origins of the iconic New Zealand kiwi following University of Adelaide research showing the kiwi's closest relative is not the emu as was previously thought. Instead, the diminutive kiwi is most closely related to the extinct Madagascan elephant bird.
Scientists have discovered a pair of genes that normally keeps eating schedules in sync with daily sleep rhythms, and, when mutated, may play a role in so-called night eating syndrome.
A group of 11 genes can successfully predict whether an individual is at increased risk of alcoholism, a research team recently reported. Knowing one has a genetic predisposition to alcohol abuse could encourage behavioral and lifestyle changes.
North Carolina State University entomologists are part of a research team that has for the first time sequenced the genome of a member of the termite order, the dampwood termite. The findings on the genetic blueprint of the dampwood termite, one of the world’s most primitive social insects, highlight key differences and similarities with other social insects like ants, wasps and bees, and provide insight into how social insects evolved.
A new genetic study has revealed that populations of humpback whales in the oceans of the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere are much more distinct from each other than previously thought, and should be recognized as separate subspecies. Understanding how connected these populations are has important implications for the recovery of these charismatic animals that were once devastated by hunting.
Scientists at Forsyth, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health have developed a new protocol for collecting saliva and stool samples for genomic and transcriptomic analyses. This method eliminates the need for specialized personnel and facilities while keeping the sample intact. It also provides critical insight into the genetic makeup of the microbiome of the digestive tract.
Poor-quality sleep during the third trimester of pregnancy can increase the odds of weight gain and metabolic abnormalities in offspring once they reach adulthood, according to a new study. Researchers linked the excess weight and changes in metabolism to epigenetic modifications that reduce expression of the gene for adiponectin—a hormone that helps regulate several metabolic processes, including glucose regulation.
Premature babies’ risk of brain injury is influenced by their genes, a new study suggests. The researchers have identified a link between injury to the developing brain and common variation in genes associated with schizophrenia and the metabolism of fat.
If studying a single gene or a diet that might extend longevity is like searching for a fountain of youth, then a new study calls for looking at something more like the whole watershed. Brown University biologists who experimentally throttled three such factors in fruit flies found that lifespan depended more on interactions among the factors than on the factors themselves.
A new study uses genetic information extracted from the remains of an adolescent girl to help resolve the longstanding debate about the origins of the first people to inhabit the Americas.
New research has identified a genetic mutation responsible for the cluster of cardiovascular risk factors that comprise the obesity-related metabolic syndrome.
Breastfeeding, tubal ligation– also known as having one’s “tubes tied”– and oral contraceptives may lower the risk of ovarian cancer for some women with BRCA gene mutations, according to a new comprehensive analysis.
Researchers argue that biologists trying to explain the connection between genotype and phenotype need to consider yet another factor: genetic material that doesn’t come from an organism’s chromosomes at all.
A group of researchers say they have identified a genetic marker that may be associated with the development OCD, the causes and mechanisms of which are some of the least understood among mental illnesses.
In the most comprehensive exploration of the association between genetic variation and human metabolism, researchers have provided unprecedented insights into how genetic variants influence complex disease and drug response through metabolic pathways. The team has linked 145 genetic regions with more than 400 molecules involved in human metabolism in human blood.
A new study provides evidence that genetically modifying immune cells might effectively treat multiple myeloma, a disease that remains incurable and will account for an estimated 24,000 new cases and 11,100 deaths in 2014.