Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Expanding the genomic map

30.01.2012
A large-scale study of East Asian individuals reveals a number of previously overlooked genetic variants with potential roles in a number of metabolic diseases

Broad, population-based investigations known as genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are now a standard tool for helping scientists to pinpoint genetic variations that can contribute to disease risk or pathology. However, most of the studies performed to date have focused predominantly on populations of European ancestry, and therefore ignore or overlook risk markers that specifically predominate among other ethnic groups.

A recent GWAS from a large team of scientists based in Korea and Japan, including Yukinori Okada of the RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine in Yokohama, has addressed this inequity by specifically seeking out factors that might contribute to metabolic disease in East Asians1.

In a GWAS, scientists analyze genomic data from large numbers of people who manifest a particular condition or trait of interest. They do this by seeking out small sequence changes known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, that show a strong statistical association with the presence or absence of that particular trait.
In an earlier study, Okada and colleagues analyzed more than 14,000 Japanese individuals and found several previously unidentified loci of interest2. This time, they performed an initial analysis in over 12,000 Korean individuals, and then replicated apparent ‘hits’ in a far larger group of over 30,000 individuals from Japan, Korea and China. This increased scale gave the researchers the ability to identify rare but meaningful associations with greater confidence.

They focused on finding genetic variants associated with imbalances in blood sugar, cholesterol and other indicators of metabolic function. “The recent rise of prevalence of metabolic diseases like diabetes, hyperlipidemia and chronic renal disease is a serious medical problem,” says Okada, “and these types of studies have been mainly conducted in European populations, but there are few studies on Asians.”

The team’s investigation uncovered 33 SNPs associated with metabolic function, 10 of which were previously unidentified. One of these SNPs was closely linked with variability in blood sugar levels, although the same SNP showed no significant association with this metabolic trait in a northern European cohort. The researchers also identified a segment of chromosome 12 that appears to affect multiple metabolic phenotypes in both Europeans and East Asians; however, the specific sequence variations associated with these traits differ between the two populations.

Collectively, these data highlight the importance of expanding the breadth of GWAS analyses to cover the full spectrum of ethnic diversity. Okada and colleagues are planning to embark on an even larger-scale GWAS of East Asian populations in the near future.

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Laboratory for Statistical Analysis, RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>