Current Alleles News and Events

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Researchers reveal genetic predisposition to severe COVID-19
HSE University researchers have become the first in the world to discover genetic predisposition to severe COVID-19. The results of the study were published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology. http://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.641900 (2021-02-23)

SSRgenotyper: A new tool to digitally genotype simple sequence repeats
Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are common components of genomic DNA that are widely used in genetic studies at the level of populations and individuals. However, the process of genotyping SSRs -- determining which individuals have which alleles -- still relies on time-consuming and potentially hazardous lab-based methods. SSRgenotyper is a new software tool that automates the process of genotyping entirely from sequenced reads and generates multiple file types for further downstream analysis. (2021-02-05)

Sperm-specific gene expression in organisms including mice, macaques and men
A large class of mammalian genes is not completely shared throughout sperm development and differentiation, according to a new study of sperm in organisms including mice, macaques and men. (2021-01-14)

Fetal-maternal discordance in APOL1 genotype contributes to preeclampsia risk
Fetal APOL1 kidney risk alleles are associated with increased risk for preeclampsia in African Americans and maternal fetal genotype discordance is also associated with this risk. (2021-01-12)

Study finds large-scale expansion of stem rust resistance gene in barley and oat lineages
Stem rust is one of the most devastating fungal diseases of wheat and historically has caused dramatic, widespread crop failures resulting in significant yield losses around the world. Stem rust epidemics in major wheat growing areas could cause a major threat to global food security. Scientists have identified a resistance gene, Sr22, as one of the few characterized genes that protects against a large array of stem rust races. (2020-12-07)

Could SARS-CoV-2 evolve resistance to COVID-19 vaccines?
Similar to bacteria evolving resistance to antibiotics, viruses can evolve resistance to vaccines, and the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 could undermine the effectiveness of vaccines that are currently under development, according to a paper published November 9 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by David Kennedy and Andrew Read from Pennsylvania State University, USA. The authors also offer recommendations to vaccine developers for minimizing the likelihood of this outcome. (2020-11-09)

Unraveling the genetic determinants of small vessel vasculitis
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have shown that the single-nucleotide variants of TERT and DSP, which promote risk for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), are significantly associated with susceptibility to microscopic polyangiitis and myeloperoxidase-ANCA associated vasculitis. Interestingly, there was no clear link to the severe complication interstitial lung disease (ILD). These findings suggest a shared genetic susceptibility between IPF and ANCA-associated vasculitides that may be independent of ILD risk. (2020-11-03)

Uncovering the genetics behind heart attacks that surprise young, healthy women
New genetic research finds spontaneous coronary artery dissection, or SCAD, heart attacks may be more similar to different diseases than to other heart attacks. (2020-09-04)

Genetics: Romantic relationship dynamics may be in our genes
Variations in a gene called CD38, which is involved in attachment behaviour in non-human animals, may be associated with human romantic relationship dynamics in daily life, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. (2020-08-18)

Survival of the fit-ish
It can be hard to dispute the common adage 'survival of the fittest'. After all, ''most of the genes in the genome are there because they're doing something good,'' says Sarah Zanders, PhD, assistant investigator at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. But, she says, ''others are just there because they've figured out a way to be there.'' (2020-08-17)

Stretches of repeating DNA predispose to systemic sclerosis
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba found that extended repeats of DNA in the gene FLI1 are associated with systemic sclerosis. By comparing the DNA of systemic sclerosis patients with healthy controls, they found that GA repeats over 22 are associated with the development of the disease as well as with a more severe outcome. These findings help us understand how FLI1 may contribute to the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis. (2020-08-03)

Studying the Neandertal DNA found in modern humans using stem cells and organoids
Protocols that allow the transformation of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines into organoids have changed the way scientists can study developmental processes and enable them to decipher the interplay between genes and tissue formation, particularly for organs where primary tissue is not available. Now, investigators are taking this technology and applying it to study the developmental effects of Neandertal DNA. The findings are reported June 18 in the journal Stem Cell Reports. (2020-06-18)

Neandertal genes in the petri dish
Protocols that allow the transformation of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines into organoids have changed the way scientists can study developmental processes and enable them to decipher the interplay between genes and tissue formation, particularly for organs where primary tissue is not available. Now, investigators are taking this technology and applying it to study the developmental effects of Neandertal DNA. (2020-06-18)

Chinese scientists construct high-quality graph-based soybean genome
Recently, the research group led by Prof. TIAN Zhixi from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in cooperation with Profs. LIANG Chengzhi and ZHU Baoge's team, Prof. HAN Bin's team from the Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences of CAS, Prof. HUANG Xuehui's team from Shanghai Normal University, and the Berry Genomics Corporation, individually de novo assembled 26 soybean genomes and constructed a high quality graph-based soybean pan-genome. (2020-06-17)

Sea snakes have been adapting to see underwater for 15 million years
A study led by the University of Plymouth (UK) has for the first time provided evidence of where, when and how frequently species have adapted their ability to see in color. (2020-05-28)

Cell reproduction dogma challenged
Meiosis is essential to sexual reproduction. For almost 15 years, it has been commonly held that retinoic acid, a molecule derived from vitamin A, triggers meiosis in mammalian germ cells. Yet, in joint articles published in Science Advances, french researchers with their colleagues, demonstrate that meiosis in mice begins and proceeds normally even in the absence of retinoic acid. These findings set the stage for new research in the field of reproductive biology. (2020-05-22)

Notorious cancer protein mutations cooperate to proliferate disease
Research at Kanazawa University, Theragen Etex Bio Institute and Seoul National University as reported in Nature Communications points towards pathways for the metastasis and malignant transitions that result from changes in the protein p53. The results suggest that the cooperative development of mutations in the proteins helps tumors spread and metastasis. (2020-05-18)

Complement genes add to sex-based vulnerability in lupus and schizophrenia
Variants in a gene of the human immune system cause men and women to have different vulnerabilities to the autoimmune diseases lupus and Sjögren's syndrome, according to findings published in the journal Nature. This extends recent work that showed the gene variants could increase risk for schizophrenia. The gene variants are a member of the complement system, a cascade of proteins that help as an infection defense that promotes inflammation and attacks pathogens. (2020-05-18)

AMP recommends minimum set of pharmacogenetic alleles to help standardize clinical genotyping testing for warfarin response
AMP has published consensus, evidence-based recommendations to aid in the design, validation and interpretation of clinical genotyping tests for the prediction of warfarin response. The manuscript, 'Recommendations for Clinical Warfarin Sensitivity Genotyping Allele Selection: A Joint Recommendation of the Association for Molecular Pathology and College of American Pathologists,' was released online ahead of publication in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. (2020-05-05)

Individual genetic variation in immune system may affect severity of COVID-19
Genetic variability in the human immune system may affect susceptibility to, and severity of infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The research is published today, April 17 in the Journal of Virology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. (2020-04-17)

Milk pioneers: East African herders consumed milk 5,000 years ago
Animal milk was essential to east African herders at least 5,000 years ago, according to a new study. The research is important for understanding the history of milk drinking worldwide. (2020-04-15)

Unanticipated response to estrogen at the single cell level
A team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that not only do individual mammalian cells in a population fail to respond synchronously to estrogen stimulation, neither do individual gene copies, known as alleles. (2020-01-27)

Research team traces evolution of the domesticated tomato
In a new paper, a team of evolutionary biologists and geneticists led by senior author associate professor Ana Caicedo, with first author Hamid Razifard at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and others, report that they have identified missing links in the tomato's evolution from a wild blueberry-sized fruit in South America to the larger modern tomato of today. (2020-01-07)

SHAPEIT4: An algorithm for large-scale genomic analysis
The examination of Haplotypes makes it possible to understand the heritability of certain complex traits. However, genome analysis of family members is usually necessary, a tedious and expensive process. Researchers (UNIGE/ UNIL/SIB) have developed SHAPEIT4, a powerful computer algorithm that allows the haplotypes of hundreds of thousands of unrelated individuals to be identified very quickly. Results are as detailed as when family analysis is per¬formed. Their tool is available online under an open source license. (2019-12-20)

Moffitt researchers develop more efficient approach to create mouse models
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have developed a new platform for creating genetically engineered mice to study melanoma that is significantly faster than a normal mouse model approach. (2019-12-17)

NOTCH1 signaling in oral squamous cell carcinoma via a TEL2/SERPINE1 axis
In this study, the research team investigated NOTCH1 mutations in keratinocyte lines derived from OSCC biopsies that had been subjected to whole exome sequencing. (2019-12-04)

Study reveals dynamics of crucial immune system proteins
Of the many marvels of the human immune system, the processing of antigens by the class I proteins of the major histocompatability complex (MHC-I) is among the most mind-boggling. Exactly how these proteins carry out their crucial functions has not been well understood. Now, however, researchers at UC Santa Cruz have worked out the details of key molecular interactions involved in the selection and processing of antigens by MHC-I proteins. (2019-12-03)

Genetics of species-specific birdsong revealed
Researchers have discovered the genetic mechanism that explains how birds sing different songs depending on their species. (2019-11-13)

Study finds key Alzheimer's gene (APOE) acts differently in Caribbean Hispanics
Researchers looking to unlock the mysteries of Alzheimer's disease have revealed new insights from old variants. A gene called apolipoprotein E (APOE),long implicated in Alzheimer's disease, has two variants that act differently among Caribbean Hispanics depending on the ancestral origin, according to a study published in Alzheimer's and Dementia. In this study, individuals with African-derived ancestry in their APOE gene had 39 percent lower odds of Alzheimer's than individuals with European-derived APOE. (2019-11-07)

Your dog might be hiding its true colors
New research from Purdue University's College of Veterinary Medicine shows that some breeds of dogs have hidden coat colors -- and in some cases, other traits -- that have been lurking all along. (2019-11-05)

Powerful new genomics method can be used to reveal the causes of rare genetic diseases
The technique, which appears in the latest issue of Science, makes use of the fact that people inherit two copies or ''alleles'' of virtually every gene, one from the mother and one from the father. The new method compares activity levels of maternal and paternal alleles across the genome and detects when the activity of an allele lies far enough outside the normal range to be a plausible cause of disease. (2019-10-10)

Gene mutation, tissue location, signaling networks drive cancer incidence and severity
Mutated KRAS genes are commonly found in several cancers and not all KRAS mutations in the same organ tissue cause the same disease severity, according to three new studies from researchers at the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (2019-09-11)

These albino lizards are the world's first gene-edited reptiles
Meet the world's first gene-edited reptiles: albino lizards roughly the size of your index finger. Researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 to make the lizards, providing a technique for gene editing outside of major animal models. In their study, publishing Aug. 27 in the journal Cell Reports, the researchers also show that the lizards can successfully pass gene-edited alleles for albinism to their offspring. (2019-08-27)

New immune system understanding may help doctors target cancer
University of Colorado Cancer Center study overturns conventional wisdom to show that immune system natural killer cells recognize cancer DNA displayed by HLA class 2 genes, offering a new way to point the immune system at cancer. (2019-08-20)

Queen bees face increased chance of execution if they mate with two males rather than one
Queen stingless bees face an increased risk of being executed by worker bees if they mate with two males rather than one, according to new research by the University of Sussex and the University of São Paulo. (2019-08-20)

Alzheimer's gene may impact cognitive health before adulthood
In the journal Neurobiology of Aging, UC Riverside psychology Chandra Reynolds asserts that those carrying the APOE4 gene score lower on IQ tests during childhood and adolescence. And the effect was stronger in girls than in boys. APOE4 carriers are up to three times more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer's disease, which occurs in people 65 and older. (2019-07-18)

Investigation into fungal infection reveals genetic vulnerability in Hmong
A new study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers Caitlin Pepperell and Bruce Klein has identified a specific genetic vulnerability among Hmong people that renders them more susceptible to the disease-causing fungus. (2019-07-15)

Surprisingly, inbred isle royale wolves dwindle because of fewer harmful genes
The tiny, isolated gray wolf population on Isle Royale has withered to near-extinction, but not because each animal carries a large number of harmful genes, according to a new genetic analysis. Instead, each one has been more likely to inherit the same harmful recessive alleles from both parents. This pattern enables expression of related genes as physical deformities, (2019-05-29)

AMP recommends minimum set of alleles for all clinical CYP2C9 genotyping testing
AMP and CAP have published consensus, evidence-based recommendations to aid in the design and validation of clinical CYP2C9 assays, promote standardization of testing across different laboratories and improve patient care. (2019-05-09)

World-class research performance that bloomed in an undergraduate class
Research achievement through an Undergraduate Group Research Program (UGRP) was published on an international scientific journal. Expects to lay a foundation for the development of a new personality test method that can complement the existing psychology test. (2019-05-08)

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