Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Link 11 Genetic Variations to Type 2 Diabetes

03.04.2008
Mathematicians at Michigan Technological University have developed powerful new tools for winnowing out the genes behind some of humanity’s most intractable diseases.

With one, they can cast back through generations to pinpoint the genes behind inherited illness. With another, they have isolated 11 variations within genes—called single nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs or "snips"—associated with type 2 diabetes.

"With chronic, complex diseases like Parkinson's, diabetes and ALS [Lou Gehrig's disease], multiple genes are involved," said Qiuying Sha, an assistant professor of mathematical sciences. "You need a powerful test."

That test is the Ensemble Learning Approach (ELA), software that can detect a set of SNPs that jointly have a significant effect on a disease.

... more about:
»Genetic »SNP »genes

With complex inherited conditions, including type 2 diabetes, single genes may precipitate the disease on their own, while other genes cause disease when they act together. In the past, finding these gene-gene combinations has been especially unwieldy, because the calculations needed to match up suspect genes among the 500,000 or so in the human genome have been virtually impossible.

ELA sidesteps this problem, first by drastically narrowing the field of potentially dangerous genes, and second, by applying statistical methods to determine which SNPs act on their own and which act in combination. "We thought it was pretty cool," Sha said.

To test their model on real data, Sha’s team analyzed genes from over 1,000 people in the United Kingdom, half with type 2 diabetes and half without. They identified 11 SNPs that, singly or in pairs, are linked to the disease with a high degree of probability. Their work has been accepted by the journal Genetic Epidemiology and is available online at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/117890704/ABSTRACT .

ELA is used to compare the genetic makeup of unrelated individuals to sort out disease-related genes. The team has also developed another approach, which uses a two-stage association test that incorporates founders' phenotypes, called TTFP, that can examine the genomes of family members going back generations.

"In the past, researchers have dealt with the nuclear family, parents and children, but this could go back to grandparents, great-grandparents . . . as far back as you want."

The team has published their findings in the European Journal of Human Genetics. An abstract is available at www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v15/n11/abs/5201902a.html .

Now that they’ve developed the software, the analysis is relatively simple, says Sha. But getting the genetic data to work on is not. "We don’t have the data sets yet to work with," she says, clearly frustrated. "That’s the problem with having no medical school."

Those who do have data sets, however, can use the team’s software to help find the causes—and hopefully, the cures—for a panoply of illnesses. ELA is available in Windows and Linux versions at www.math.mtu.edu/~shuzhang/software.html, and TTFP is available by request.

Other members of Michigan Tech's statistical genetics group are Associate Professor Shuanglin Zhang and postdoctoral scientists Zhaogong Zhang and Tao Feng.

Marcia Goodrich | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mtu.edu

Further reports about: Genetic SNP genes

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ambush in a petri dish
24.11.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>