This meta-analysis, published in the latest issue of Nature Genetics, is based on data from more than 26,000 study participants. It verifies two already known genes, but also discovered ten new genes. Altogether they explain a difference in body size of about 3.5 centimeters.
The analysis produced some biologically insightful findings. Several of the identified genes are targeted by the microRNA let-7, which affects the regulation of other genes. This connection was completely unknown until now. Several other SNPs may affect the structure of chromatin, the chromosome-surrounding proteins. Moreover, the results could have relevance for patients with inherited growth problems, or with problems in bone development, because some of the newly discovered genes have rare mutations, known to be associated with anomalous skeletal growth. Further functional studies are necessary to completely elucidate the biological mechanisms behind this growing list of genes related to height.
As German contribution to the meta-analysis, data from about 5,600 participants of the KORA study were analyzed by the HelmholtzZentrum scientists, Dr. Christian Gieger, Dr. Susana Eyheramendy, PD Dr. Thomas Illig, Dr. Iris M. Heid and Prof. Dr. Dr. H.-Erich Wichmann. In order to genotype 500,000 of the most frequent variants in the human genome, DNA chips were analyzed at the Institute for Human Genetics and the Institute of Epidemiology of the HelmholtzZentrum München under the direction of Prof. Dr. Thomas Meitinger. The coordinator of the study was Dr. Guillaume Lettre; Prof. Joel Hirschhorn acted as the principal investigator. Both scientists work at the Broad Institute of the MIT and the Harvard University, Cambridge. All investigators are part of the recently formed international consortium to study height and obesity-related traits (GIANT, Genetic Investigation of ANthropometric Traits).
Along with the results of a British study that was published simultaneously in Nature Genetics, the total number of known "height genes" now amounts to 26.
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16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
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13.01.2017 | Princeton University
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
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