Scientists are closing in on genetic contributors to high blood pressure and other causes of heart and cardiovascular disease. At the American Society for Human Genetics annual meeting in Los Angeles, Hopkins research associate Yen-Pei Christy Chang, Ph.D., will present evidence that a region of chromosome 1 is involved in appropriately regulating blood pressure. Her talk is scheduled for 10:15 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 8.
The scientists conducted a genome-wide analysis of 1,875 people in 585 families collected through the GenNet network of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes Family Blood Pressure Program. Through their analysis, the scientists linked a region containing more than 200 known genes to blood pressure. The researchers also highlighted 24 genes whose functions might predict some role in hypertension, and closely examined nine of these genes. Their work uncovered genetic changes called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in three of these nine that were associated with hypertension.
This region of chromosome 1 has been linked to related disorders such as type 2 diabetes and to a condition called familial hyperlipidemia (in which levels of cholesterol are high). However, this is the first analysis to identify candidate genes for additional study and to offer good evidence that more than one gene in the region is involved in blood pressure regulation, says the studys principal investigator, Aravinda Chakravarti, Ph.D., director of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine.
Joanna Downer | EurekAlert!
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At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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