Study identifies genetic variants giving rise to differences in metabolism
A study published by researchers at Yeshiva University and its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, strongly suggests that regular attendance at religious services reduces the risk of death by approximately 20 percent. The findings, published in Psychology and Health, were based on data drawn from participants who spanned numerous religious denominations. The research
Full Post: Regular religious service attendance reduces risk of death by 20 percent
Common genetic polymorphisms induce major differentiations in the metabolic make-up of the human population, according to a paper published November 28 in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics.
An international team of researchers, led by Karsten Suhre, has conducted a genome-wide association study with metabolomics, identifying genetic variants in genes involved in the breakdown of fats. The resulting differences in metabolic capacity can affect individuals’ susceptibility to complex diseases such as diabetes and hyperactivity.
In the rapidly evolving field of metabolomics, scientists aim to measure all endogenous metabolites in a cell or body fluid. These measurements provide a functional readout of the physiological state of the human body. Investigation into these so-called “genetically determined metabotypes” in their biochemical context may help determine the pathogenesis of common diseases and gene-environment interactions.
The team identified four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in genes coding for well-characterized enzymes of the lipid metabolism. Individuals with different genotypes in these genes have significantly different metabolic capacities with respect to the synthesis of some polyunsaturated fatty acids, the beta-oxidation of short- and medium-chain fatty acids and the breakdown of triglycerides. By simultaneous measurements of both SNPs and serum concentrations of endogenous metabolites, the researchers determined the metabolome of several hundred healthy individuals and compared it to their genetic inheritance.
The results suggest that most individuals carry one or more risk alleles in their genetic inheritance that may determine a certain medical phenotype, the response to a given drug treatment, or the reaction to a nutritional intervention or environmental challenge. These findings may lead to more targeted approaches to health care based on a combination of genotyping and metabolic characterization. To achieve this goal, it will be necessary to identify the major genetically determined metabotypes and their association to complex diseases.
Metabolic diseases - in particular the increasingly prevalent type 2 diabetes - are caused by a complex interaction between genetic disposition and unfavorable lifestyle, above all unbalanced diet and too little physical exercise. Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum M? have now for the first time been able to show a relationship between the genetic make-up
Full Post: Genetic variation in metabolism identified
Scientists have new information about the complex genetic signature associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the leading cause of cognitive decline and dementia in the elderly. The research, published by Cell Press in the January issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics , uses a powerful, high-resolution analysis to look for genes associated with this devastating
Full Post: New understanding of genetic signature associated with Alzheimer’s disease
Genetic variations in DNA repair patterns may increase risk of pancreatic cancer by as much as threefold or decrease it by as much as 77 percent, depending on the genes involved, according to a report published in the January 15, 2009, issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Full Post: Genetic variations in DNA repair patterns may increase risk of pancreatic cancer
Patients with the skin disease psoriasis appear more likely to have higher levels of leptin (a hormone produced by fat cells that may contribute to obesity and other metabolic abnormalities) than persons without psoriasis, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that results in a
Full Post: Psoriasis sufferers more likely to have higher levels of leptin
Scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have detected evidence that DNA may not be the only carrier of heritable information; a secondary molecular mechanism called epigenetics may also account for some inherited traits and diseases. These findings challenge the fundamental principles of genetics and inheritance, and potentially provide a new insight
Full Post: Epigenetics may account for some inherited traits and diseases