Predisposition to many common diseases – among which cancer, cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, asthma, etc. – is said to be a multifactor phenomenon as it results from numerous genes as well as environmental factors. Identifying such predisposition genes is one of the major challenges in modern genetics and could contribute to establishing new preventive medicine patterns and developing new specific drugs.
However, the identification of predisposition genes appeared to be extremely difficult in humans. Despite huge investments, “successes” can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Considering our domestic animals’ history, such populations are particularly well-adapted to the analysis of multifactor characters. This was shown most dramatically by the recent identification of a mutation in an IGF2 gene regulatory element leading to a muscle mass increase in pigs. A particularly ingenious genetic analysis allowed experts to isolate the relevant mutation among 280 other mutations identified in the gene. Functional analyses subsequently indicated that the mutation inactivated an inhibitor of the IGF2 production in muscles. As a consequence, it increased IGF2 secretion and muscle growth.
Didier Moreau | alfa
Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
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