Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

If air gets scarce – new gene causes asthma in children

21.08.2007
Usually harmless external stimuli like animal hair, pollen and house dust cause a life-endangering narrowing of the bronchi in asthma patients.

An international team of scientists headed by researchers from the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU), Munich, and Oxford University, UK, have now been able to identify a gene that clearly increases the risk for asthma in childhood.

Dr. Thomas Illig, head of the working group Molecular Epidemiology at the GSF National Research Centre for Environment and Health in Neuherberg, near Munich, has also been involved in this large-scale study. The team examined over 300,000 genetic marker in thousands of asthmatic children and compared their data with those of healthy controls. The newly found gene, ORMDL3, is a promising object of research: it could help to improve the prevention and diagnosis of asthma, and possibly to develop a new therapy.

In Germany, one child in ten suffers from asthma – without any hope of being cured. At best, until now, only symptoms can be treated. However, the research team has now been able to identify one of the main players in the complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors that lead to asthma. The scientists used the fact that the genetic material of different individuals shows differences. One type of DNA variants is called SNPs, short for “Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms”. They can be compared and statistically analysed.

... more about:
»Asthma »Genom

To a hitherto unprecedented extent, in the present case, more than 300,000 SNPs were analysed in about 2,300 study participants, and briefly half had suffered from asthma since childhood. The comparison of their genetic data with those of their healthier contemporaries showed that several genetic variations clearly raise the risk of asthma in infancy. Above all, the gene expression of the gene ORMDL3 was influenced by them. However, significant associations must be examined in so-called replication studies of further case-control groups. “Thus, in the GAC, the Genome Analysis Centre of GSF, we have analysed an asthma population that was recruited in the LMU by Dr. Michael Kabesch, and, in this way, we could confirm the previous results”, reports Illig.

The asthma study is promoted in Germany by the National Genome Research Network (NGFN) and was carried out within the scope of the EU-financed GABRIEL project to decipher the causes of asthma. Illig is involved as a partner in both projects. Now he and his colleagues have planned follow-up investigations. “This really was an excellent joint effort that we shall continue”, the molecular biologist commented. “GSF is involved in such high-grade projects, not least because the Genome Analysis Centre is one of the few institutions that can carry out genome-wide studies on this scale. In the field of genotyping, we belong to the leading groups in Germany.”

Michael van den Heuvel | alfa
Further information:
http://www.gsf.de/neu/Aktuelles/Presse/2007/asthmagen_en.php

Further reports about: Asthma Genom

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ambush in a petri dish
24.11.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>