Familial combined hyperlipidemia is caused by the gene USF1, which in turn regulates many other genes, but until now there have been no techniques for finding which ones. Professor Claes Wadelius, at the Department of Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, has devised new methods for analyzing genetic regulation and found a number of genes that govern fat levels and energy conversion. The breakthrough is a result of close collaboration with Professor Jan Komorowski at the Linnaeus Center for Bioinformatics.
How active a gene is is regulated by proteins, called transcription factors, which are bound to the DNA strands. Until now, this has been analyzed in test tubes and only one gene at a time. Claes Wadelius’ research team has developed new high-efficiency methods that improve the results in two crucial ways. On the one hand, living cells are now analyzed, not synthetic genes in test tubes. On the other, the entire human genome is analyzed in a single experiment, not merely a genetic fragment.
The method has been used to find genes that have a disturbed function in the common disease familial combined hyperlipidemia. These patients have elevated levels of cholesterol or other fats, which leads to increased risk of being afflicted by early hardening of the arteries and heart attack. Analyses show that the gene USF1 in turn governs the activities of more than 1,000 genes, several of which determine the body’s levels of fat. It also regulates a number of genes that participate in the cell’s energy production, which provides new ways of understanding disturbances in metabolism. The new methods are 10-100 million times more efficient that the old ones, and the project involved more than a billion analyses. This places great demands on how we register, store, and interpret data.
“Technological advances are making medical research more of an information science. With these precise new methods for analyzing data we have entirely new capabilities for understanding the causes of disturbances in metabolism. In other projects we are using the same methods to understand new causes of cancer,” says Professor Claes Wadelius.
Anneli Waara | alfa
Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University
Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences