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
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy