Five New Genes That Affect Risk Of Developing Coronary Artery Disease CAD And Heart Attacks Discovered
According to an investigation set to be published in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics, an international group of investigators report the findings of five new genes that affect risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart attacks. The investigation was funded by the British Heart Foundation and the National Institute for Health Research in the UK, with added funding from the NIH in the U.S. as well as other funding sources in Europe. The research was also supported by the Leicester NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Cardiovascular Disease, based at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester. CAD is the most frequent cause of premature death and disability worldwide. In the future these discoveries could aid in the development of new treatments and enhance prediction of coronary artery disease.
Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a way to image the spread of a particularly dangerous form of prostate cancer earlier than conventional imaging in use today, which may allow oncologists to find and treat these metastases more quickly and give patients a better chance at survival. The gene-based imaging system targets prostate cancers that have become resistant to androgen deprivation therapy, an aggressive form of the disease known as castration resistant prostate cancer. Once the hormone treatment is no longer working, the cancer will progress within 12 to 18 months and prognosis becomes grim, said Lily Wu, a professor of molecular and medical pharmacology, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and senior author of the study. "Anytime you can detect cancer earlier, the chances of more effective control of the cancer increase and the outcomes for patients are better, " Wu said.
After more than three decades of research, University of Pennsylvania veterinarians and vision-research scientists, with associates at Cornell University, have identified a gene responsible for a blindness-inducing disease that afflicts dogs. In the process, the Penn scientists may have discovered clues about how retinal cells, and perhaps even neurons, can be regenerated. The research was conducted by Gustavo D. Aguirre, William A. Beltran, Agnes I. Berta and Sem Genini of Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine, along with Kathleen Boesze-Battaglia of the Penn School of Dental Medicine. They collaborated with researchers from Cornell, the National Eye Institute and the Semmelweis University of Medicine, in Hungary. Their study was published in the open access journal PLOS One. At the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1960s, Aguirre was studying rod dysplasia, a genetic disease that causes blindness in a rare breed of dog known as the Norwegian Elkhound.
A team led by scientists from Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health has discovered a new genetic mutation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and a related disease called frontotemporal dementia (FTD) that appears to account for more than a third of all inherited cases of these diseases. The researchers show in a new study published online in Neuron that this mutation, found within a gene called C9ORF72, is about twice as common as all the other mutations discovered thus far for the disease combined. The findings, say study leader Bryan J. Traynor, M.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and chief of the Neuromuscular Diseases Research Unit at the NIH, could help scientists develop new animal models of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and eventually new targets for attacking the more common sporadic form of the disease, which isn't inherited and appears to crop up in the population at random.
Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have identified more than 70 genes that play a role in regenerating nerves after injury, providing biomedical researchers with a valuable set of genetic leads for use in developing therapies to repair spinal cord injuries and other common kinds of nerve damage such as stroke. In the journal Neuron, the scientists detail their discoveries after an exhaustive two-year investigation of 654 genes suspected to be involved in regulating the growth of axons - the thread-like extensions of nerve cells that transmit electrical impulses to other nerve cells. From their large-scale genetic screen, the researchers identified 70 genes that promote axon growth after injury and six more genes that repress the re-growth of axons. "We don't know much about how axons re-grow after they're damaged, " said Andrew Chisholm, a professor of biology at UC San Diego.