Current Genetic Variants News and Events

Current Genetic Variants News and Events, Genetic Variants News Articles.
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New features of a gene defect that affects muzzle length and caudal vertebrae in dogs
A recent genetic study at the University of Helsinki provides new information on the occurrence of a DVL2 gene defect associated with a screw tail and its relevance to canine constitution and health. The variant was found in several Bulldog and Pit Bull type breeds, and it was shown to result in caudal vertebral anomalies and shortening of the muzzle. The DLV2 variant may also affect the development of the heart. (2021-02-23)

B cells continue to work against SARS-CoV-2 months after infection, but do not recognize mutant
A new analysis of B cells and more than 1,000 different monoclonal antibodies from 8 patients with COVID-19 shows that, contrary to previous hypotheses, protective B cell responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein remain stable and continue to evolve over a 5-month period, many months after the initial period of active viral replication. (2021-02-23)

Genetic tool improves estimation of prostate cancer risk in diverse ethnic/racial groups
Scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine validated a more inclusive and comprehensive genetic tool, known as a polygenic hazard score (PHS), for predicting age of onset of aggressive prostate cancer. (2021-02-23)

University of Minnesota researchers develop two new rapid COVID-19 diagnostic tests
University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have developed two new rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19 - one to detect COVID-19 variants and one to help differentiate with other illnesses that have COVID-19-like symptoms. (2021-02-23)

Researchers discover potential new therapeutic targets on SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted considerable investigation into how the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein attaches to a human cell during the infection process, as this knowledge is useful in designing vaccines and therapeutics. Now, a team of scientists has discovered additional locations on the Spike protein that may not only help to explain how certain mutations make emerging variants more infectious but also could be used as additional targets for therapeutic intervention. (2021-02-22)

Don't focus on genetic diversity to save our species
Scientists at the University of Adelaide have challenged the common assumption that genetic diversity of a species is a key indicator of extinction risk. Published in the journal PNAS, the scientists demonstrate that there is no simple relationship between genetic diversity and species survival. But, Dr João Teixeira and Dr Christian Huber from the University of Adelaide's School of Biological Sciences conclude, the focus shouldn't be on genetic diversity anyway, it should be on habitat protection. (2021-02-22)

CovMT: Tracking virus mutations across the world
An interactive platform helps users visualize where SARS-CoV-2 mutations start, how wide they spread and how infectious they are. (2021-02-21)

Researchers demonstrate new method to track genetic diversity of salmon, trout
Scientists at Oregon State University and the U.S. Forest Service have demonstrated that DNA extracted from water samples from rivers across Oregon and Northern California can be used to estimate genetic diversity of Pacific salmon and trout. (2021-02-21)

Mayo Clinic researchers develop test to measure effect of breast cancer gene variants
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have combined results from a functional test measuring the effect of inherited variants in the BRCA2 breast and ovarian cancer gene with clinical information from women who received genetic testing to determine the clinical importance of many BRCA2 variants of uncertain significance (VUS). The findings were published today in a study in the American Journal of Human Genetics. (2021-02-19)

First multi-whole-genome study of IBD in African Americans
In African Americans, the genetic risk landscape for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is very different from that of people with European ancestry, according to results of the first whole-genome study of IBD in African Americans. The authors say that future clinical research on IBD needs to take ancestry into account. (2021-02-19)

A study with 1,600 dogs: More than 20 gene loci associated with canine hip dysplasia
An extensive study on canine hip dysplasia conforms to the polygenic background of the disease. Genes located in different chromosomes have a strong association with a protein modification process previously linked to inflammatory arthritis. (2021-02-18)

Genetics may play role in determining immunity to COVID-19
UC San Diego researchers report that individual immune response to SARS-CoV-2 may be limited by a set of variable genes that code for cell surface proteins essential for the adaptive immune system. The finding may help explain why COVID-19 immunity varies by individual. (2021-02-18)

Targeting the SARS-CoV-2 main protease yields promise in transgenic mouse model
Inhibitors based on approved drugs and designed to disrupt the SARS-CoV-2 viral protein Mpro display strong antiviral activity both in vitro and in a transgenic mouse model, a new study reports. (2021-02-18)

Could a nasal spray prevent coronavirus transmission?
A nasal antiviral created by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons blocked transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in ferrets, suggesting the nasal spray also may prevent infection in people exposed to the new coronavirus, including recent variants. (2021-02-17)

ADHD, DBD and aggressiveness: Risky genetic factors
People with attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) combined with disruptive behaviour disorders (DBDs) share about the 80% of genetic variants associated with aggressive and antisocial behaviours. (2021-02-17)

Mutation in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein renders virus up to eight times more infectious
A mutation in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2--one of several genetic mutations in the concerning variants that have emerged in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil -- makes the virus up to eight times more infectious in human cells than the initial virus that originated in China, according to research published in the journal eLife. (2021-02-17)

Dr. Frederick Boop presents at the ISPN 2020 Virtual Meeting
Understanding the molecular biology of brain tumors is key to prognosis and treatment said Le Bonheur Neuroscience Institute Co-Director Frederick Boop, MD, in his presentation ''How Molecular Biology Impacts Clinical Practice'' at the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery (ISPN) 2020 Virtual Meeting. (2021-02-17)

Asthma may heighten flu risk and cause dangerous mutations
A subtype of asthma in adults may cause higher susceptibility to influenza and could result in dangerous flu mutations. University of Queensland-led animal studies have found that paucigranulocytic asthma (PGA) - a non-allergic form of the condition - allows the flu virus to flourish in greater numbers in sufferers. (2021-02-16)

A genetic variant inherited from Neanderthals reduces the risk of severe COVID-19
SARS-CoV-2 impacts people in different ways after infection. Some experience only mild or no symptoms at all while others become sick enough to require hospitalization. Now, researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) in Japan and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany have found that a group of genes that reduces the risk of severe COVID-19 by around 20% is inherited from Neanderthals. (2021-02-16)

Neandertal gene variants both increase and decrease the risk for severe COVID-19
Last year, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany showed that a major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neandertals. Now the same researchers show, in a study published in PNAS, that Neandertals also contributed a protective variant. Half of all people outside Africa carry a Neandertal gene variant that reduces the risk of needing intensive care for COVID-19 by 20 percent. (2021-02-16)

Genetic study of Lewy body dementia supports ties to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases
In a study led by National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers, scientists found that five genes may play a critical role in determining whether a person will suffer from Lewy body dementia, a devastating disorder that riddles the brain with clumps of abnormal protein deposits called Lewy bodies. The results also supported the disorder's ties to Parkinson's and Alzheimer diseases. (2021-02-16)

Large-scale study finds genetic testing technology falsely detects very rare variants
A technology that is widely used by commercial genetic testing companies is 'extremely unreliable' in detecting very rare variants, meaning results suggesting individuals carry rare disease-causing genetic variants are usually wrong, according to new research published in the BMJ. (2021-02-15)

New study identifies the main genetic causes of autoimmune Addison's disease
Scientists from the University of Bergen (Norway) and Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) have discovered the genes involved in autoimmune Addison's disease. (2021-02-12)

NIH experts discuss SARS-CoV-2 viral variants
The rise of significant variants of SARS-CoV-2 has attracted the attention of health and science experts worldwide. In an editorial published in JAMA, experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases outline how these variants have arisen, concerns about whether vaccines currently authorized for use will continue to protect against new variants, and the need for a global approach to fighting SARS-CoV-2 as it spreads and acquires additional mutations. (2021-02-12)

Gene variants increase risk of Addison's disease
Variants of nine genes increase the risk of developing Addison's disease, a rare disease in which the immune system attacks the adrenal glands. That is according to the largest genetic study to date on patients with Addison's disease. The findings help increase knowledge about what causes the disease. The study was conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, and Bergen University, Norway, and is published in the journal Nature Communications. (2021-02-11)

Artificial intelligence generates new diversity of AAV capsids for broader gene therapy
Research in Nature Biotechnology demonstrates the use of machine learning to generate unprecedented diversity of functional AAV capsids, towards evading immune system neutralization to allow more patients to benefit from gene therapies. It is estimated that up to 50-70% of the human population have pre-existing immunity to natural forms of the AAV vectors currently used in gene therapies. Dyno Therapeutics is applying CapsidMap™ and partnering with gene therapy companies to develop next-generation AAV vectors. (2021-02-11)

Machine-learning how to create better AAV gene delivery vehicles
A new study initiated by Wyss Core Faculty member George Church's Synthetic Biology team at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and driven by a collaboration with Google Research has applied a computational deep learning approach to design highly diverse capsid variants from the AAV2 serotype across DNA sequences encoding a key protein segment that plays a role in immune-recognition as well as infection of target tissues. The approach has broad implications for designing more effective and safer gene therapies. (2021-02-11)

Neandertal genes alter neurodevelopment in modern human brain organoids
Building modern human brain organoids with the Neanderthal variant of a gene has provided a glimpse into the way substitutions in this gene impacted our species' evolution. (2021-02-11)

Spinal fluid of people with Alzheimer's risk gene signals inflammation
People who have a gene variant associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease also tend to have changes in the fluid around their brain and spinal cord that are detectable years before symptoms arise, according to new research from Duke Health. (2021-02-11)

Response to cancer immunotherapy may be affected by genes we carry from birth
For all their importance as a breakthrough treatment, the cancer immunotherapies known as checkpoint inhibitors still only benefit a small minority of patients, perhaps 15 percent across different types of cancer. Moreover, doctors cannot accurately predict which of their patients will respond. (2021-02-10)

The science of siestas: New research reveals the genetic basis for daytime napping
Researchers identified 123 regions in the human genome that are associated with daytime napping and three distinct mechanisms that promote napping. Many napping-related genes also regulate other aspects of sleep. (2021-02-10)

Researchers release analysis of largest, most diverse genetic data set
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and their colleagues published a new analysis today in the journal Nature from genetic sequencing data of more than 53,000 individuals, primarily from minority populations. (2021-02-10)

The power of groupthink: Study shows why ideas spread in social networks
New research shows that large groups of people all tend to think alike, and also illustrates how easily people's opinions can be swayed by social media--even by artificial users known as bots. (2021-02-10)

Blueprint for understanding the pandemic
Scientific and public health experts have been raising the alarm for decades, imploring public officials to prepare for the inevitability of a viral pandemic. Infectious epidemics seemingly as benign as 'the flu' and as deadly as the Ebola virus provided ample warning, yet government officials seemed caught off guard and ill prepared for dealing with COVID-19. Three future-oriented researchers and policy experts map out an 'Epidemiological Blueprint for Understanding the Dynamics of a Pandemic.' (2021-02-09)

Unusual DNA folding increases the rates of mutations
DNA sequences that can fold into shapes other than the classic double helix tend to have higher mutation rates than other regions in the human genome. New research shows that the elevated mutation rate in these sequences plays a major role in determining regional variation in mutation rates across the genome. (2021-02-09)

Starling success traced to rapid adaptation
Love them or hate them, there's no doubt the European Starling is a wildly successful bird. A new study from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology examines this non-native species from the inside out to learn what exactly happened at the genetic level as the starling population exploded across North America? (2021-02-09)

Scientists urge for investment now in highly potent vaccines to prevent the next pandemic
In an article that appears in the journal Nature, Dennis Burton, PhD, and Eric Topol, MD, of Scripps Research call for governments to provide significant funding support for rational vaccine design based on broadly neutralizing antibodies. Such antibodies provide broad-spectrum potency against viruses, a valuable characteristic that opens the door to vaccines that could provide immunity against the many variants that might evolve from a fast-mutating virus. They could also be used as drugs to prevent and treat infections. (2021-02-09)

Some sperms poison their competitors
A genetic factor helps sperm cells outcompete their peers (2021-02-04)

Pharmacologist offers plan to solve disparities in designing medicine
In a new perspective piece published in the Feb. 5 issue of Science, Johns Hopkins pharmacologist Namandje Bumpus, Ph.D., outlines the molecular origins for differences in how well certain drugs work among distinct populations. She also lays out a four-part plan to improve the equity of drug development. (2021-02-04)

Synthesized very-long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids improved retinal function in mice
A University of Utah ophthalmologist is investigating how lipids known as VLC-PUFAs could be used to prevent eye disease thanks to a new way to synthesize them for research. (2021-02-04)

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