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:1/4/2017)... the thousands of attendees at this year,s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ... measurement devices and services, will be featuring its new line of ULTRA ... special CES Exhibit Suite , the new upper arm and wrist ... WellnessConnected product platform.  Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... YORK , December 22, 2016 ... provider of secure solutions for the e-Government, Public Safety, HealthCare, and ... subsidiary of SuperCom, has been selected to implement and deploy a ... in Northern California , further expanding its presence ... ...
(Date:12/16/2016)...   IdentyTechSolutions America LLC , a leading ... and a cutting-edge manufacturer of software and hardware ... seamless, integrated solutions that comprise IDT biometric readers ... provide IdentyTech,s customers with combined physical identification and ... and theft. "We are proud to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/14/2017)... , Jan. 13, 2017  The Alliance for ... in response to FDA final guidance on ... its continued leadership in emphasizing the importance of distinct ... keenly aware of the benefits biosimilars will bring to ... Yet the portion of the Guidance dealing ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... ... CAGR of 16.83% during the period 2017-2021. The report ... market for 2017-2021. To calculate the market size, the report considers the ... also includes a a discussion of the key vendors operating in this ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... January 13, 2017 , ... FireflySci has been ... found among its diverse customer base. The latest entry in this field is ... including BTX and Bio-Rad. FireflySci is introducing three distinct varieties including a 10x1mm, ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 12, ... ... USING VTI’S INTERFUSE® IS A SUCCESS , VTI, Vertebral Technologies, Inc., announces ... the InterFuse® laterally expandable device. Since September 2016, VTI (Vertebral Technologies, Inc.) ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: