HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Gene maps of simpler life forms point the way to human disease gene

St. Louis, May 13, 2004 -- In an experiment that demonstrates how maps of the genetic codes of simpler organisms can shed light on human disease, a computerized comparison of the complete genetic codes of a type of algae, a weed and humans has led medical researchers to a gene linked to a human illness.

The comparison allowed researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis to locate human genes that code for proteins likely to become part of hair-like structures on cells known as cilia or flagella. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University used the findings to pin down the location of a gene that contributes to Bardet-Biedl Syndrome (BBS), a rare genetic condition that causes blindness, mental retardation, severe obesity and many other problems.

The genetic comparison was arranged by Susan Dutcher, Ph.D., professor of genetics and of cell biology and physiology at Washington University. Dutcher studies cilia in the green alga Chlamydomonas. The work will be published in the May 14 issue of Cell.

"Almost every cell in the human body has cilia," Dutcher says. "Cilia that are active early in development ensure that organs like the heart and stomach end up where they're supposed to be. Cilia clear away dirt and bacteria in the respiratory tract, help sperm swim and help keep fluid flowing into and out of the brain, just to name a few examples."

Cilia and basal bodies, the structures that anchor them on the surfaces of cells, are complex. Scientists estimate that cells use at least 250 proteins to build cilia and an additional 150 for basal bodies.

Studying algae allows Dutcher's group to isolate and manipulate cilia more easily. Simpler life forms like Chlamydomonas often have genes for many basic cellular structures and functions that were wholly or partially preserved through the evolutionary development of more complex life forms. This Dutcher means genes in the alga that help build cilia often have matche
'"/>

Contact: Michael C. Purdy
purdym@wustl.edu
314-286-0122
Washington University School of Medicine
13-May-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Discovery of size changes of Bacillus spores may lead to simpler, faster anthrax detector
2. Procedure to cement spine now simpler
3. Veterinary Memorial Fund transforms grief into promise
4. Alzheimers may leave some forms of memory intact
5. From lung to gut the Wnt signaling pathway transforms cell fate
6. Study of dyslexic brain finds three word forms responsible for reading success
7. Oxygen triggered the evolution of complex life forms
8. Worlds most alkaline life forms found near Chicago
9. Some forms of cancer behave in an unexpected way
10. In potentially important discovery, scientists find two forms of genetic material chromatin
11. Chest compression device outperforms manual CPR

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


(Date:11/7/2018)... ... November 07, 2018 , ... The awards were presented ... science industry. The event was attended by 150 industry executives from leading life ... drug discovery. The winners were determined by responses to an online ballot completed ...
(Date:11/3/2018)... ... November 01, 2018 , ... The Conference Forum announces the ... 6-8, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Times Square in New York City. , ... Genentech’s Global Franchise Leader in Cancer Immunotherapy Biomarkers and IO360° Plenary Chair, ...
(Date:11/3/2018)... ... 01, 2018 , ... As 2018 comes to a close, significant changes to ... quality systems for manufacturers worldwide. To mark World Quality Day this month, ... “While 2020 may sound far off, the May 26 deadline transition deadline that year ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/3/2018)... ... November 01, 2018 , ... Come to Princeton Nov. ... Senior Advisor, Division of Clinical Compliance Evaluation, CDER, FDA will be presenting on ... , What should clinical research industry stakeholders keep in mind when implementing and ...
(Date:10/31/2018)... ... October 30, 2018 , ... ... be a very important aspect of experimental biology. Reproducibility of cell-based assays is ... Despite of choosing the appropriate assay type, there are many more factors to ...
(Date:10/24/2018)... ... October 22, 2018 , ... uBiome, the leader in microbial ... Science Institute, Stephenson Chair of Data Science, and Professor in the Department of ... leading scientists and doctors from around the world, Dr. Bourne will bring to ...
(Date:10/18/2018)... ... October 18, 2018 , ... With rapid technological advances ... store their eggs. Previously reserved for women facing a cancer diagnosis requiring chemotherapy or ... to preserve their options. Simply put, they do not want to get pregnant ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: