HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
From algae, weeds and people: new genetic clues to complex obesity syndrome

By comparing the genomes of an alga, a weed and humans, a team of researchers has identified a new gene behind Bardet-Beidl syndrome (BBS), a complex condition marked by learning disabilities, vision loss and obesity.

"Finding this gene underscores the power of comparing organisms' complete genetic information," says Nicholas Katsanis, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins. "We can use this technique to look for new genes and proteins involved in specific cellular structures and their roles in health and disease."

That's because even very distantly related organisms -- the alga and humans, for example -- may share genes and proteins for common cellular structures that have been conserved by nature.

The genetic comparisons, done by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, revealed 688 genes in humans and the alga that are involved in building cells' hair-like projections called cilia, the team reports in the May 14 issue of Cell.

In people, cilia help push fluid and molecules around outside certain cells, including some in the lung, eye, brain and kidney. Hopkins researchers and their colleagues have reported that genetic mutations in BBS cause problems at least in part by rendering cilia and related structures useless.

Two of the identified genes turned out to be located in a region of human chromosome 2 that already had been linked to BBS. Stimulated by the St. Louis researchers, the international BBS team sequenced the two genes in families with BBS and discovered mutations in one of the two genes.

"There were 230 possible genes in the region of chromosome 2 linked to BBS, and this genomic comparison immediately narrowed down the most likely possibilities to just two," says Katsanis, also an assistant professor of ophthalmology. "Using comparative genomics in this way is a big, big deal. It would have been nearly impossible to
'"/>

Contact: Joanna Downer
jdowner1@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
13-May-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Metal-eating algae, spartina eradication, horseshoe crabs
2. Lowly weeds may hold promise for curing host of common health woes
3. Using a companion crop to control weeds organically
4. Deer help disperse seeds--including noxious weeds
5. Seed dormancy may hold the key to fighting weeds
6. Invading weeds escaped old enemies, brought immunity
7. Molecular biology and biological control team up to thwart pests and weeds
8. Genetically modified crops may pass helpful traits to weeds, study finds
9. Genes passed from crops to weeds persist for generations
10. Radioactive tumbleweeds
11. Researchers determine genetic cause of Timothy syndrome

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/13/2017)... Feb. 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- RSA, a ... is designed to enhance fraud detection and investigation ... the RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence Suite. The ... leverage additional insights from internal and external sources ... protect their customers from targeted cybercrime attacks. ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... 7, 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), ... financial results for its quarter and year ended December 31, ... 2016 was $3.9 million compared to $6.9 million in the ... of 2016 was $0.6 million compared to $2.6 million in ... quarter of 2016 was $0.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... 2017 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and ... present at the LEERINK Partners 6th Annual Global Healthcare ... Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. ... can be accessed at http://wsw.com/webcast/leerink28/zbh .  The webcast ... Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com . ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 23, 2017 ... company, and Beyond Type 1, a not-for-profit advocacy and ... today announced a grant from Beyond Type 1 to ... type 1 and other insulin-requiring diabetes.  ... innovative stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies with a focus ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... 2017  PrimeVax Immuno-Oncology, Inc. announced today its CEO, ... Annual Biocom Global Life Science Partnering Conference.  The presentation ... at the Torrey Pines Lodge, in San Diego.  ... Biocom who have chosen our company, amongst numerous others, ... investors, and clinical researchers," said Mr. Chen. "In contrast ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading ... around the world, is pleased to announce the launch of a new scholarship for ... (STEM) fields. , This merit-based scholarship is open to all high school seniors, 17 ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Pharma and biotech consulting firm ... Operating from Pennside’s Zurich headquarters, Pennside Partners, GmbH, Mr. Perkins brings 14 years ... than a decade with leading market research firm, GfK. He began his pharma ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: