A gene that, in different variants, increases or decreases the level of atherosclerosis has been identified in mice. The corresponding human gene has been shown to play a role in the development of myocardial infarction. The results of the study is published this week on Nature Genetics Online.
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, in collaboration with the Jackson Laboratory in the USA, AstraZeneca and a Japanese research group, have scrutinised an area on chromosome 1 that is of demonstrable importance to the development of arteriosclerosis. The TNFSF4 gene was identified as the one responsible, as mice with mutations in this gene displayed a lower degree of atherosclerosis, while mice with more active variants of the gene displayed the opposite.
Studies of two patient groups revealed that a certain variant of the human homologue of the gene was more common in people who had a history of cardiac infarction than those without. “This is an example of how an unbiased genetic strategy based on a mice model can teach us more about common human diseases,” says researcher Jacob Lagercrantz of the Gustav V research institute, Karolinska Institutet.
Sabina Bossi | alfa
Not of Divided Mind
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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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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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