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Gene variants protect against relapse after treatment for hepatitis C

Gene variants protect against relapse after treatment for hepatitis C

More than 100 million humans around the world are infected with hepatitis C virus. The infection gives rise to chronic liver inflammation, which may result in reduced liver function, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer Continue reading

‘Master regulator’ of obesity? Distant IRX3 gene appears to interact with obesity-related FTO gene mutations

‘Master regulator’ of obesity? Distant IRX3 gene appears to interact with obesity-related FTO gene mutations

Mutations within the gene FTO have been implicated as the strongest genetic determinant of obesity risk in humans, but the mechanism behind this link remained unknown. Now, an international team of scientists has discovered that the obesity-associated elements within FTO interact with IRX3, a distant gene on the genome that appears to be the functional obesity gene. Continue reading

Link between missing DNA, birth defects confirmed

Link between missing DNA, birth defects confirmed

In 2010, scientists in Italy reported that a woman and her daughter showed a puzzling array of disabilities, including epilepsy and cleft palate. Continue reading

Cellular alchemy: How to make insulin-producing cells from gut cells

Cellular alchemy: How to make insulin-producing cells from gut cells

Destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas is at the heart of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. “We are looking for ways to make new beta cells for these patients to one day replace daily insulin injections,” says Ben Stanger, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Continue reading

Genetic patch ‘stops deafness’

Genetic patch ‘stops deafness’

4 February 2013 Last updated at 21:33 ET By James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News A tiny “genetic patch” can be used to prevent a form of deafness which runs in families, according to animal tests. Patients with Usher syndrome have defective sections of their genetic code which cause problems with hearing, sight and balance. Continue reading

New stroke gene discovery could lead to tailored treatments

New stroke gene discovery could lead to tailored treatments

Jan. 31, 2013 — A study led by King’s College London has identified a new genetic variant associated with stroke Continue reading

Gene found that turns up effect of chemotherapy

Gene found that turns up effect of chemotherapy

Jan. 29, 2013 — Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer patients Continue reading

One-step test for mitochondrial diseases

One-step test for mitochondrial diseases

Jan. 28, 2013 — More powerful gene-sequencing tools have increasingly been uncovering disease secrets in DNA within the cell nucleus. Now a research team is expanding those rapid next-generation sequencing tests to analyze a separate source of DNA — within the genes inside mitochondria, cellular power plants that, when abnormal, contribute to complex, multisystem diseases Continue reading

New mutations discovered driving malignant melanoma

New mutations discovered driving malignant melanoma

Jan. 24, 2013 — Two new mutations that collectively occur in 71 percent of malignant melanoma tumors have been discovered in what scientists call the “dark matter” of the cancer genome, where cancer-related mutations haven’t been previously found. Continue reading

Linchpin of skin response to UVA light discovered

Linchpin of skin response to UVA light discovered

Jan. 21, 2013 — Researchers have strengthened their understanding of how skin cells called melanocytes sense ultraviolet light and act to protect themselves with melanin. In a new study, they report experiments showing that an ion channel well-known elsewhere in the body for its chemical sensitivity, plays a central role in this process Continue reading