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Cocaine addiction, craving and relapse
One of the major challenges of cocaine addiction is the high rate of relapse after periods of withdrawal and abstinence. But new research reveals that changes in our DNA during drug withdrawal may offer promising ways of developing more effective treatments for addiction. Withdrawal from drug use results in reprogramming of the genes in the brain that lead to addictive personality, say researchers from McGill University and Bar Ilan University in a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. (2015-05-26)

Similarities between cancerous and normal skin cells
Normal human skin cells harbor a surprisingly large number of un-inherited mutations that crop up over time, including many known cancer-promoters that help to drive tumor growth, researchers say. (2015-05-21)

Obesity and weight loss change splicing pattern of obesity and type 2 diabetes genes
Alternative splicing of obesity and type 2 diabetes related genes may contribute to the pathophysiology of obesity, according to research from the University of Eastern Finland. Obesity leads to changes in the splicing pattern of metabolically relevant genes such as TCF7L2 and INSR, resulting in impaired insulin action. However, weight loss, induced by either obesity surgery or a very low-calorie diet, reverses these changes. (2015-05-21)

Partly human yeast show a common ancestor's lasting legacy
Despite a billion years of evolution separating humans from the baker's yeast in their refrigerators, hundreds of genes from an ancestor that the two species have in common live on nearly unchanged in them both, say biologists at The University of Texas at Austin. The team created thriving strains of genetically engineered yeast using human genes and found that certain groups of genes are surprisingly stable over evolutionary time. (2015-05-21)

Bees follow separate but similar paths in social evolution
There's more than one explanation for how colony-living animals like bees evolve their unique social structure, according to a detailed genome analysis conducted by Karen Kapheim and colleagues. (2015-05-14)

Genetic changes to basic developmental processes evolve more frequently than thought
Newly evolved genes can rapidly assume control over fundamental functions during early embryonic development, report scientists from the University of Chicago. They identified a gene, found only in one specific group of midge flies, which determines head and tail patterning in developing embryos, similar to an unrelated, previously-known gene found in certain fruit fly families. The findings suggest that evolutionary changes to the genetics of fundamental biological processes occur more frequently than previously thought. (2015-05-07)

GTEx -- How our fenetic code regulates gene expression
A new study presents the first analysis of the pilot dataset from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project, which investigates how our underlying DNA regulates gene expression. (2015-05-07)

Genetic markers for fetal overgrowth syndrome discovered
Researchers have identified a number of genes that contribute to large offspring syndrome, which can result in the overgrowth of fetuses and enlarged babies. (2015-04-28)

DNA study could shed light on how genetic faults trigger disease
A new technique that identifies how genes are controlled could help scientists spot errors in the genetic code which trigger disease, a study suggests. (2015-04-24)

Hundreds of cancer possibilities arise from common skin mole mutation
A team of international scientists has identified hundreds of possible new genes in mice that could transform benign skin growths into deadly melanomas. (2015-04-23)

Cancer gene unintentionally ends the life of cancer cells, turns off life supporting genes
A new study from the University of Wurzburg, Germany, and the University of Helsinki, Finland, suggests that Myc cancer gene makes cells to commit suicide by repressing life supporting 'well-being' genes. These findings provide new opportunities to develop drugs, which could switch Myc from a cancer driver gene to a deadly assassin of the cancer cells. (2015-04-20)

Flourishing faster: How to make trees grow bigger and quicker
Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered a way to make trees grow bigger and faster, which could increase supplies of renewable resources and help trees cope with the effects of climate change. (2015-04-16)

Most comprehensive study to date reveals evolutionary history of citrus
Citrus fruits -- delectable oranges, lemons, limes, kumquats and grapefruits -- are among the most important commercially cultivated fruit trees in the world, yet little is known of the origin of the citrus species and the history of its domestication. Now, Jaoquin Dopazo et al., have performed the largest and most detailed genomic analysis on 30 species of citrus, representing 34 citrus genotypes, and used chloroplast genomic data to reconstruct its evolutionary history. (2015-04-14)

Scientists uncover gene 'architects' responsible for body's blueprint
Researchers have identified two key proteins that act as genetic 'architects', creating the blueprint needed by embryos during the earliest stages of their development. Previous work by the research team from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, showed that the protein MOZ could relay external 'messages' to the developing embryo, revealing a mechanism for how the environment could affect development in very early pregnancy. (2015-04-13)

Vanderbilt biologist receives grant to study inheritable bacterial infections
Vanderbilt biologist Seth Bordenstein has been awarded a $950,000 grant from NSF for research into the regulation of bacterial infections passed from mother to offspring. (2015-04-09)

DNA can't explain all inherited biological traits, research shows
Characteristics passed between generations are not decided solely by DNA, but can be brought about by other material in cells, new research shows. (2015-04-02)

The nature of nurture is all about your mother, study says
When it comes to survival of the fittest, it's all about your mother -- at least in the squirrel world. New research from the University of Guelph shows that adaptive success in squirrels is often hidden in the genes of their mother. 'Some squirrels are genetically better at being mothers than others,' said Andrew McAdam, a professor in U of G's Department of Integrative Biology and co-author of the study published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society. (2015-03-31)

Playing music by professional musicians activates genes for learning and memory
Although music perception and practice are well preserved in human evolution, the biological determinants of music practice are largely unknown. According to a latest study, music performance by professional musicians enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission, motor behavior, learning and memory. Interestingly, several of those up-regulated genes were also known to be responsible for song production in songbirds, which suggests a potential evolutionary conservation in sound perception and production across species. (2015-03-27)

Honey bees use multiple genetic pathways to fight infections
Honey bees use different sets of genes, regulated by two distinct mechanisms, to fight off viruses, bacteria and gut parasites, according to researchers at Penn State and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The findings may help scientists develop honey bee treatments that are tailored to specific types of infections. (2015-03-26)

Genetic discovery may offer new avenue of attack against schistosomiasis
Researchers have discovered a group of genes in one species of snail that provide a natural resistance to the flatworm parasite that causes schistosomiasis, and opens the door to possible new drugs or ways to break the transmission cycle of this debilitating disease. It's been called a neglected global pandemic. (2015-03-24)

Stem cells help researchers peg rabies resistance
Researchers at Texas A&M AgriLife Research have developed a new technology to determine sensitivity or resistance to rabies virus. (2015-03-18)

New targets for rabies prevention and treatment
Researchers have identified genes that may be involved in determining whether an individual is sensitive or resistant to rabies virus infection. (2015-03-16)

University of Sydney: Discovery holds promise for gene therapy and agriculture
A key step in understanding the genetic mechanism of plants' environmental adaptability has made in research led by the University of Sydney. (2015-03-16)

Organisms can keep gene expression in check: York U biologist
The current study, jointly conducted by York University and Columbia University researchers, suggests that Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier modifies proteins bound to active genes, in order to prevent unfettered gene over-expression that can be harmful to the organism. (2015-03-13)

Listening to classical music modulates genes that are responsible for brain functions
According to the recent Finnish study, listening to classical music enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopamine secretion and transport, synaptic neurotransmission, learning and memory, and down-regulated the genes mediating neurodegeneration. However, the effect was only detectable in musically experienced persons. (2015-03-13)

New genome-editing technology to help treat blood cancers
Melbourne researchers have developed a new genome editing technology that can target and kill blood cancer cells with high accuracy. Using the technology, researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute were able to kill human lymphoma cells by locating and deleting an essential gene for cancer cell survival. (2015-03-12)

Some genes 'foreign' in origin and not from our ancestors
Many animals, including humans, acquired essential 'foreign' genes from microorganisms co-habiting their environment in ancient times, according to research published in the open-access journal Genome Biology. The study challenges conventional views that animal evolution relies solely on genes passed down through ancestral lines, suggesting that, at least in some lineages, the process is still ongoing. (2015-03-12)

ACL injuries in female athletes traced to genes
Female athletes endure two to eight times more anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injuries than their male counterparts. Genes are likely a major factor, according to Dr. William Landis, G. Stafford Whitby Chair in Polymer Science at The University of Akron, and Dr. Kerwyn Jones, Chair of Pediatric Orthopedics for Akron Children's Hospital. (2015-03-10)

New gene sequencing technology like a high-powered microscope
A new gene sequencing technology known as 'Capture Sequencing' allows us to explore the human genome at a much higher resolution than ever before, with revolutionary implications for research and cancer diagnosis. (2015-03-09)

Genetics breakthrough by group that includes UF expert will boost diabetes resear
The genes that increase the risk of Type 1 diabetes have lost their hiding place. (2015-03-09)

Turning a vole into a mighty rodent
Take a wild, common forest-dwelling mouse-like rodent, known as a vole, and subject it to 13 rounds of selection for increased aerobic exercise metabolism, and what do you get? A mighty 'mouse' with a 48 percent higher peak rate of oxygen consumption and an increased basal metabolic rate, compared to unselected controls. Scientists have used an evolution technique that has gained popularity, dubbed 'evolve and resequence,' to measure the genetic changes that pushed the humble vole to Olympian levels of performance. (2015-03-05)

UBC scientists uncover cause of tree-killing fungus
Forest scientists at the University of British Columbia believe they've discovered the root cause of a deadly tree fungus: extra genes. (2015-03-04)

Researchers pin down genetic pathways linked to CF disease severity
Mutation of one gene is all it takes to get cystic fibrosis, but disease severity depends on many other genes and proteins. For the first time, UNC researchers identified genetic pathways that play major roles in why one person with CF might have severe symptoms while another person might not. (2015-02-23)

Carnivorous plant packs big wonders into tiny genome
Great, wonderful, wacky things can come in small genomic packages. That's one lesson to be learned from the carnivorous bladderwort, a plant whose tiny genome turns out to be a jewel box full of evolutionary treasures. A new study in the scientific journal Molecular Biology and Evolution breaks down the plant's genetic makeup, and finds a fascinating story. (2015-02-23)

Researchers discover promising targets for treating allergies and asthma
Researchers in the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden and Canada report in Nature that they have discovered more than 30 genes that have strong effects on Immunoglobulin E, allergies and asthma. (2015-02-18)

Seven genes for X-linked intellectual disability
Genetic analysis discovers new mutations on the X chromosome. (2015-02-13)

Google-style ranking used to describe gene connectivity
Using the technique known as 'Gene Rank,' Dartmouth investigator Eugene Demidenko, Ph.D., captured and described a new characterization of gene connectivity in 'Microarray Enriched Gene Rank,' published in BioData Mining. The effective computer algorithm can be used to compare tissues across or within organisms at great speed with a simple laptop computer. (2015-02-13)

Harm and response
In one of the broadest studies of its kind, scientists at the University of Missouri Bond Life Sciences Center recently looked at all plant genes and their response to the enemy. Their results showed that the model Arabidopsis plant recognizes and responds differently to four insect species. The insects cause changes on a transcriptional level, triggering proteins that switch on and off plant genes to help defend against more attacks. (2015-02-12)

Transcriptomics identifies genes and signaling pathways that may regulate neurodegeneration
Neuronal death is a normal feature of brain development but also a defining feature of neurodegenerative diseases when improperly regulated. Results of a detailed and comprehensive analysis of transcriptome expression alterations during neuronal death have been reported. A large number of genes previously not linked to neuronal death were identified in the study. Although further functional analyses are needed, some of these genes may be important players in the regulation of neuronal death and represent potential targets for the development of novel therapies. (2015-02-11)

New finding may compromise aging studies
Scientists found that a hormone they were using to selectively activate genes in flies for life span studies was actually extending the lives of mated female flies by 68 percent. (2015-02-04)

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