Health Problems

‘Jumping genes’ help stabilize DNA folding patterns

“Jumping genes” — bits of DNA that can move from one spot in the genome to another — are well-known for increasing genetic diversity over the long course of evolution. Now, new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that such genes, also called transposable elements, play another, more surprising role: […]

Personal Health

Genome editing helps decipher a congenital liver disease

Congenital hepatic fibrosis (CHF) is a rare genetic disease that causes malformation and fibrosis (scarring) of the liver. Occurring in roughly one out of every 20,000 births, CHF can lead to an enlarged liver, impaired blood flow to the intestines (portal hypertension), infection of the bile ducts and liver failure. In severe cases, a liver […]

Personal Health

Researchers identify ‘beauty spots’ in the genome

Genes play a role in determining the beauty of a person’s face, but that role varies with the person’s sex, according to a new study by Qiongshi Lu and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, published 4th April in PLOS Genetics. Humans tend to be preoccupied with beauty—a person’s attractiveness is associated with academic performance, […]

Personal Health

GARFIELD classifies disease-relevant changes in the genome

Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have developed a new approach to understand the functional effects of genetic variations associated with a disease, even if they aren’t located in a gene. Using this approach could help scientists uncover previously unknown mechanisms that control gene activity and determine whether cell […]

Health Problems

Preventing sudden cardiac death with genome editing

Each year, at least 3 million people worldwide die of sudden cardiac death. In the U.S., this number reaches up to 450,000 people. Although sudden cardiac death is more common in older adults, younger people also are significantly affected. In the 1 to 40 age group, up to 9 per 100,000 people are affected each […]