Heart disease is Europes leading cause of death, but new research shows that the diseases toll would be much greater had natural selection not shifted the frequency of susceptibility genes over the past few tens of thousands of years. The work underscores the role of ancient natural selection in shaping contemporary public health.
The findings are reported by Matthew Rockman, Dagan Loisel, and Greg Wray at Duke University, Matthew Hahn at UC Davis, and David Goldstein and Nicole Soranzo at University College London. By analyzing DNA sequences from humans and other primates and comparing sequences among and within human populations, the researchers have cast light on the evolutionary history of a single DNA base pair that has been shown to influence heart disease.
The genetic trait under study concerns a particular base pair of DNA – one of billions in the human genome – that helps regulate the gene stromelysin-1, or MMP-3. The identity of the DNA base at this position differs between individuals and influences the rate of production of the genes product, an enzyme that degrades the extracellular matrix that makes up the walls of arteries.
Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
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...
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