Around the world, hundreds of millions of people suffer from bronchial asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by symptoms of wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. In adults, death caused by asthma is by far most prevalent among the elderly, with 90% of cases afflicting those aged 60 or older. Treatment techniques remain ineffective in severe cases, resulting in chronic suffering and a heavy economic burden for patients and their families.
To clarify the genetic origins of adult asthma, the research group conducted a genome-wide association study on 1532 adult patients and 3,304 controls. Among a total of roughly 460,000 genetic variants (called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms or SNPs), the group identified five genetic regions associated with susceptibility to adult asthma, three of which had not previously been connected to the disease. The associations were confirmed in a separate replication study on a population of 5,639 patients and 24,608 controls.
The regions identified contain SNPs previously associated with the FEV1/FVC ratio, a calculated ratio crucial to the diagnosis of obstructive and restrictive diseases, as well as numerous genes that play a role in immunity response to infection and inflammation. One of these genes encodes the protein thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), which plays a critical role in sensing environmental agents and triggering immune response. The SNP in the region containing this gene was reproduced in a separate study on non-Hispanic individuals of European ancestry, suggesting that region may be a common hereditary factor for asthma across ethnic groups.
Together, the findings of this extensive study shed light on the genetic factors contributing to asthma susceptibility, pointing the way to more effective treatment techniques and a better future for millions of asthma sufferers around the world.
RIKEN Global Relations Office | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2017 | Life Sciences