Scientists at the MUHC have discovered a gene that controls the speed at which patients develop tuberculosis--the first time such a gene has been discovered for this disease. The new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) this week provides a new view of the mechanisms underlying the development of tuberculosis and may contribute to public health efforts aimed at containing the disease.
"About one-third of the worlds population is infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis--the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis," says Dr. Erwin Schurr, a molecular geneticist at the Centre for the Study of Host Resistance at the MUHC, and the studys principal investigator. "Of the estimated two billion people infected, only 5%-10% actually develop tuberculosis disease in their lifetime--the other 90%-95% appear to be able to contain the infection in a dormant state, so that they do not become ill." Dr. Schurr has spent the past 5 years researching why and how this happens.
The new research focused on NRAMP1--a gene already known to be involved in many other illnesses, including diseases as diverse as leprosy and rheumatoid arthritis. "We discovered that variants (alleles) of the NRAMP1 gene control the speed at which tuberculosis develops, rather than whether or not it will develop at all," says Dr. Schurr. "This is the first time a gene has been shown to control the time frame between initial infection and the disease." Certain factors are already known to increase the speed at which people develop tuberculosis. "HIV and tuberculosis are synergistic partners in crime for example," says Dr. Schurr. "They appear to accelerate disease progression when they occur together."
Ian Popple | EurekAlert!
North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich
Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
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